Saturday, August 21, 2010


It's after long that I have gotten down to blogging. The reason for that, simply, have been the rains. I have already published blogs about rains, and still, the most prominent source of inspiration as far as writing is concerned , has only been 'rains'. Today as well, it is no different. Rains definitely form the back drop of my narrative, but, the perspective has altered. The joy associated with raindrops touching my skin has long disappeared. Now, there is a shadow of gloom forever marking my face.

The rains have continued for far too long. Or may be, it is the first time I am perceiving them that way. Hindrances to already delayed constructions works, traffic snarls, puddles, difficulty in commutation- if you(the reader) think these are the sources of the absent enthusiasm in my heart, then you are highly mistaken. These are the things that I laugh at. Then what is it that is letting this tangible, yet incomprehensible melancholy fill my being?

A single peek of sun from behind the clouds makes my eyes shine with alacrity; but this revelry is rare to visit my door. I was sitting today for really long in CP, by a huge window, which gave me the most spectacular view of mud hills lining the roadsides, cars of every color and brand stuck in an unending ennui, white colored Victorian buildings damp and their paints chipping, and a grey, almost-black canvas of a huge cupola of clouds, which seems to have sworn sun-protection to all citizens of Delhi for quite some time now. I was sitting and sketching the scene in front of me. Not that i am good at drawing, but i was just trying my hand at being a bit destructive (of the beauty of the scene), a bit disappointing (of my famous sketching abilities) and a bit disgusting ( to my companion who himself is acclaimed at wielding magic as he draws).

Anyway, point was, i was doing it, and in a very sudden, or rather, unnoticeable manner, an unmistakable feeling of grief started springing inside me. I tried to fight it, but i sensed my mind submitting to it. As a natural reflex, the first thing i did was to figure out reasons. My jejune brain first held Ghalib culpable for my condition. Yes, you are right, the same, old, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib. Why, i will tell later. I was almost about to take punitive measures against his long deceased soul, when i was held back by an expeditious onset of slumber. It was in that sleep i found answers to my heart's unease. It was a dream...a dream which made things lucid to me...dream-

"I was sitting on a hillside. My favorite hillside. The air was damp. Sun nowhere in sight. The valley was green; it's depth not calculable. Cottony fluffs of clouds were rising from deep down. My side of the hills were iridescent with flowers of variegated hues smiling from both corners of my eyes. I was sitting quietly looking blankly at everything around. Only my eyes were peculiar. Water was running down my cheeks. I am not sure if it were tears, because my heart was devoid of emotions. I felt no stabs of sadness. I only cried. Suddenly, a divine person came into the picture. Filled with clemency, benevolence, and sure 'answers' to my discomfort, he came and sat by my side quietly. I said nothing, just stole a sideways glance at him. He was dressed in casuals- green T-shirt and denims. He had a white, perfectly chiseled face. His hair and eyes were unnaturally black. His lips were pink, with a cleft which could be missed sans close scrutiny. He started gazing straight ahead, where the view of the opposite hills was being blocked by the nascent clouds. He sat observing the clouds. With no warning, he raised his fingers as if a seasoned pianist is preparing his agile fingers for a concert. His fingers started moving in incongruous patterns in the air. I was about to ask him, but he shushed me even before i could utter a word. Gave me a glance which conveyed- "patience". After about fifteen minutes of this queer activity, he gave himself a satisfactory smile. Then, he kept one hand over my head. He said, in his soft, echoing, almost a chime-like voice- "Clouds are my most formless creations, but when I make these clouds my canvas, and my fingers the paintbrushes, my mind can picture them in a thousand different shapes and forms and meanings. I gave these clouds nothing. I gave them a transient existence. But then never complain. They utilize their short life giving shade and hope to the others. When they die, they weep- the only, and the final expression of their grief. But, even as they weep, they lend smiles to many. People are glad for the water, relief, rain, respite but no one cares for the very clouds who carry these droplets safely till they are delivered at their destination. But, they carry on, continue, persevere." His gaze pierced through me as he said the last word."

I did not even see this divine creature walk away. I was woken up as we were getting late. I saw the unfinished sketch lying in front of me. I raised my head for a final gaze, intending to finish my sketch, but the only detailing i added to it were the grey, almost black clouds in the background.

Mr. Ghalib, aptly, can find his mention here. He writes the most beautiful lines, and has this uncanny, unmistakable ability to stimulate that corner of my heart which hitherto was latent. This time, the lines were as follows-
"Dil hi toh hai, na sang-o-khisht, dard se bhar na aaye kyun?
Royenge hum, hazaar baar, koi humein sataaye kyun?"
(It is only a heart, not stone or mortar, why should it not fill with grief?
We will wail a thousand times, why should anyone torment us?)

For me, a better translation of the above lines is- The heart is heart, it will weep. Why should anyone be critical of my grief?

I walked down the footpaths of CP, trying to fathom my dream. May be I did. May be the Almighty was fed up of the incessant tussles i have with him, and wanted to talk about the many basics that i ignore while censuring him for my mundane problems. May be he was genuinely concerned with my listlessness about where to head as i found myself without support, care, concern, love and understanding from anyone i hold dear. And then, he sent me this quote in my Gmail inbox-"You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering"

Whatever it meant. Whatever it was. One thing I will surely laud Him for is the medium he chose to communicate with me. This one voice, i can never ignore. Never.


  1. great yaar...from where u think all of this..its jus remarkable and fantastic...gr8 power of imagination...god bless you

  2. wow its really beautiful.....transported me to another world.
    i loved the part where u said "why should anyone be critical of my grief" hits a nerve....

  3. really good yaa:):)...but i thought you said i came in your dream:p

  4. @Mayank
    Thanks! I guess my inspiration made me write like this..anyway...tell me, which line of mine did u steal???

    Thanks! But i wish i were as good at expressing myself as u are thru ur sketches..luv them...

  5. @Jagga-

    Thanks jagge..u did come in my dream...but we fought in that one...i did sumthing whose reply i got in Sonal Kalra's column today in the newspaper...will tell u abt it later...

  6. saumya i really liked that part of your dream where u wrote that clouds give happiness to everybody even when they cry....they contain their sadness in then and give happiness to everyone around them.....and the line that y should anyone be critical of my grief.....y to tell anyone ur grief....nobody can understand it not even ur closed ones....because only u have experienced it and putting feelings into words is not telling our grief we only give other person the right or the authority to be critical of it.....don't make ur feelings a pub;ic story by telling it to every random person as it is not a movie where a sunday review will be written or people will give stars ob the basis of the intensity of the feeling

  7. Aw vrinda....I am glad that i have struck a cord with something that all of us feel, all of us undergo..and is find someone who revels in your happiness is darn easy, but to have someone who comprehends your sadness, jus does not sympathise with you, but actually understands what pangs you are undergoing is one of the most difficult things in the world...i have known so many people who are ever critical of my overtly-emotional self...often even mocking at me..but thats who i am...

    Again..thanks for such a lovely comment....

    Love you.

  8. Amazed with the way you write. I am sure none of us can even think the way you think and pen down your emotions. However, I'm sure all of us relate to it somehow or the other.

    "Make use of suffering" I would want you to express your views on this though. Really.

  9. saumya...i can't deny the fact that sometimes i also become critical of ur emotions and thats y this comment.....i can get sarcastic and rude to certain things related to you but i really look forward to ur blogs....they are good

  10. @Vrinda
    Thanks once made my day...

  11. Hmmm...thanks for the lovely comment...because it comes once in a blue moon, its value increases manifold....glad that you feel people can relate to the stuff i write...
    now...coming to your question- "Make use of suffering"- i could write a whole new blog on this one line..though i feel you understand this statement, through experience better than i do... "Our closest songs are those which are the saddest in nature"...the moment you are down with angst, try writing write the most beautiful stuff invariably (the one blog of mine you thought was the best was written when i was contemplating banging myself against the wall)...when you reason out things with yourself when you are frustrate, its one of the most difficult things to do...but it refines you like nothing does... sufferings, not happiness, make you a good person, a better you a keen understanding of your own self....
    i tried to express myself as best as i could, but...i know i was not clear enough..i night-time phone call would do it perhaps


  12. the above is your reply saurabh..or rather... anarchic saurabh

  13. @Saumya: Something is really intriguing me since I read this post and my mind wont rest until I say it. This post has too many big words where they just don't belong. I mean seriously. Some words are just too grandiose to let the sentence sink in, it rather makes it seem a bit superficial.

    For example :

    1. My jejune brain first held Ghalib culpable for my condition.

    2. I was almost about to take punitive measures against his long deceased soul, when i was held back by an expeditious onset of slumber.

    3. My side of the hills were iridescent with flowers of variegated hues smiling from both corners of my eyes.

    4. Filled with clemency, benevolence, and sure 'answers' to my discomfort, he came and sat by my side quietly.

    Anyway, it is my personal opinion. Everyone has their own writing style. I just think people loose the whole point of what is written if one riddles them with such extravagant wordplay.

  14. @ Impy....all the sentences that u have pointed out are just those which have a word that is a not so commonly used synonym of our common words....but that doesn't make the sentences makes them more sophisticated and brings out the beauty of the language...y do we use apologize sometimes and sorry sometimes....what the whole point of having synonyms.....i would seriously say that u should read editorials of hindu and magazines like hindu when an author writes that judicial inquiry is nation's "desideratum"...u don't question the use of such words but admire the beauty of the language

    this is my personal opinion....when i read her blog I don't find the use of such words as a deliberate attempt but it seems to flow freely in her article and sentences.

  15. @ Vrinda : I guess I am not the one to revere 'the beauty' of English language by sophisticated words. I just thought this post was more about letting the reader relate to you're personal experience, and not an editorial from Hindu.
    Anyway, I value simplicity and hence the comment.

    On a completely different note, I would definitely laud Saumya on her vocabulary, and you too if you had no trouble what so ever in understanding the post ;)

  16. By the way, I changed my profile name. For the record, I was 'Impy' :)

  17. I guess some people referred dictionary after every got bit irritated...
    ..beautiful words make beautiful sentence...and beautiful sentences makes beautiful paragraph...and i think everyone admires beauty...
    ur words make ur imagination more powerful..more strong... when i read saumya's blog..its just amazing everytime...dis is a rare art...

    and Vrinda i agree with you..

  18. much has happened on my blog and i have tried to remain out of it so far, but it is imperative that i now jump in and let my thoughts out...

    The little criticism posted by impy/chika ching above did leave me a bit disheartened for sometime, but then, i guess i could appreciate her effort in the end. I am still thankful to her, although, i would like to state here that this is how i write. This is the only way of expressing i know. If it does not connect to a larger audience, it does not exactly hurt me, cuz i write for a select few. If you do go through my blogs once more, you might be able to notice that each one of them is dedicted to or inspired by one or the other of my friends. It matters to me that the reader, who at times coincides with the inspiration recieves the blog well.

    So far, so good. People have been cursing me for using words that make them resort to the lexicon every now and then, but they do it in good humor. However, i do feel happy for the fact that most of my friends feel touched, or a tad happier after reading my blog than they were before it.

    Still, i will bear your comment in mind, and try to use a vocabulary more humble, but doing so would be difficult, simply 'cuz writing is an exercise i undertake when am inebriated and overtaken by emotions so strong that the quill seems to force its way with me.....
    Hope some day i write things that you unconditionally are able to appreciate...


  19. @ Vrinda
    Need i say anything about you?
    Trust me, you are one of the greatest motivations i have to keep my blog running. I love reading your comments. In fact, the moment i finish a blog, the first thing i want is to see the way you react to it. I've always feared a negative reaction from your side, but so far, i've stood tall on yours and well as my own expectations.

    Somehow, when you find faults in my blog, i like it, cuz i feel you really are entitled to be doing it. I strongly opine that it is only when you can appreciate should you think yourself able to fit the description for me

    Thanks Vrinda!

    I'm drafting a book review for the eco mag...and will post it here as well.

    After the verbal exchanges above, although i am a bit scared as to how i will fare, but this piece of writing has been imposed on me


  20. @ Mayank
    Thanks a ton mayank. Yet again. I don't want to comment on your comment. What i do wanna tell you is that you have no clue how glad at times i feel that i have you for my really close friend. You've always stood firmly by my side. Anything that happened to me in school had to go through you. I felt the same thing the other day on face book chat

    Anyway...that letter is soon about to end. It shall be photocopied and given to you, hopefully this saturday

    Thanks for all the love and trust


  21. finally saumya i have to refer much less to dictionary while i read ur blog....i guess i'm improving mine satisfactorily

  22. While I will not comment on the original article itself; I find this debacle on whether exercising a large vocabulary results in better text quite interesting.

    The key, in my rather humble opinion, is to maintain consistency. You may idolize James Joyce or Mark Twain (pardon me for the male references - I'm not sexist, I assure you), good writing involves sticking to one and only one style. A complex word in a sea of innocent ones gives off an image of graininess which does not make for smooth reading.

    In Software Engineering, where I think I can confess to have some basic expertise, we talk about how you've arrived at a good system design when you can take nothing away. Fortunately, I've discovered that this applies to many other spheres too - less is often more and simple is usually beautiful. Complexity is often a part of the problem than of the solution.

    Either ways, watching people who end their sentences with three periods and spell ``your'' as ``ur'' comment on language is cute, at the very least. :)

  23. @ Sanjoy
    All the people above who have commented on my way of writing are people I know. I really appreciate you taking out time and becoming a part of this conversation, although i have no inkling who you might be. Why I am saying this is because had you been a person i knew, i would have known how to reply to and inquire from you a few things.

    Firstly, since for the past few days i have gotten difident about my vocabulary and usage of words, i wanna confirm from you if the word 'debacle' used by you in the first para of your comment is actually what was intended.

    Secondly, I did go through your writings, and honestly, i was impressed. However, even to call people who use the sms lingo and three period endings 'cute' is a bit supercilious, at least in my opinion.

    d only reason i use 4mal lingo is to avoid the aristocratic onslaught tht i myt otherwise hv 2 put up wid...i luv ending my sentences wid 3 dots...and so do most of oder ppl i knw

    It was a certain gentlemen, Mr. Sandeep Vasudevan, who familiarised me with the merits of always using proper English while expressing oneself. He used to say, 'civilization is not something that comes naturally to humans.' Thus i followed

    Just wanted to let you know.


  24. pardon my spelling and grammatical errors, i just figured out there were too apologizing before someone murders me for them

  25. @Saumya

    Calling this discussion a debacle was certainly harsh, my apologies. This seems to be a friendly thread.

    And no, you don't know me, and neither do I know you.

    The last remark was entirely in jest, though combining incorrect punctuation with good vocabulary is a little ironic - don't you think? Of course, grammar follows the practices of the majority of educated people and not the other way around; and you are welcome to counter my point.


    As I've already mentioned, my last remark was not meant to be taken seriously; I'm not an authority on grammar and language.

  26. @Sanjoy

    Please don't apologize for anything. I just could not place the word so i inquired. I guess i do know a little of you through your writings now, so the formal conduct can take a backseat.

    And yes, I do see your point, which is valid, so i see no need to counter it.

    Thanks so much!

    (And i wrote thanks because being a part of this discussion was extremely humbling.. Honestly, i got to learn so much, could review my own way of writing much better, which was awesome)

    Thanks again


  27. Saumya Di..ur awesome..i know you know it.
    its just..i dont know how u think of these things...and how you can pen them down in such perfect words.
    its adorable.
    i love it.=)

  28. Awww!
    Thanks a ton Piyushi. Am glad you liked my suggestions. Actually, I knew you would like them :). Keep reading!