7 years of blogging

It began this day, 7 years ago, on the advice of a fellow-writer, while I was stuck at home, unwell, with nothing else to do, knowing fully well the fate of 3 previous blogging attempts on platforms like yahoo and blogger. Who knew then that a new world would open up! Friends, poetry, groups, submissions, books… everything started from that first wordpress post! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, offered support and encouragement.

Am sharing today a flash fiction piece that I wrote some time ago. Have been trying my hand at this genre while searching for a way back into poetry. Would very much like to connect with others/ groups doing flash fiction, so do drop your blog URL so I can read your work.

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After the Party

The city’s literati had turned up in their customary khadi and kholapuris, the conversation, through the haze of smoke and a mirror or two, had dropped a few banal points, the new twitter-trending novelist who had just published a chest-thumping, decibel-shattering novel was on his fourth whiskey, his political counterpoint was sprawled on the floor rolling joints in two thousand rupee notes with the hostess, she who read nothing but reviews that she paid for each week. No one wanted to talk to the pretentious young woman with the new exposé who was trying to will her phone into calling itself. Near the bar, a poet was having an extended verbal orgasm, his rhyming couplets now declaimed from the top of the Makrana marble counter, the punch line delivered in a fiery expulsion of alcohol breath, theatrical flourish and appeals to an alternative god. But all this was a moment ago, before a reporter had got into a squabble with an old professor in a goatee and madras checks. There had been some cursing in back-street Hindi, the academic had been accused of something, no one was certain, it could have been plagiarism or something more fundamental, but a bottle was smashed, punches thrown and a scream or two later, the poor man’s rather ponderous body lay in an abstract of blood and Old Monk rum, ice cubes refusing to melt around his already cold body.

In the morning, it was a scandal. By afternoon, the reporter was arrested. His employers had to bring their news website down for ‘technical reasons’ and there were whispers of insurrection, of adultery, of debauchery, of suicide. A month later, everyone had forgotten the professor’s name. Six months later, they were forced to remember it as the pretentious woman released a video from the party. It was from her cell phone, the audio was muffled, the images barely visible in the dim light but it looked like a battle and it sounded like a war and the professor was branded a spy and a lowlife, definitely a radical, so they rooted for the reporter. It had to be self-defence. A year later, the reporter was on TV panels talking about international terrorism, populism, education, economics and climate change. His syndicated column appeared in forty newspapers and he was writing a book about his time in prison. He said it was a sacrifice the country had demanded of him. Someone suggested he should run for office.

The hostess had new flooring put in. It looked like green granite. It could have been black. The twitter-trending writer had a new girl on his arm. No one would later recollect the name of the girl or of his book. The loud rebel was lecturing, to anyone who would listen, about the need to turn vegan while drinking something green from a copper bottle he had brought from home. The pretentious woman had a new phone and had learnt to make it ring on command. The poet was in a deep debate on the structure of the ghazal and the subliminal effects of repetition. He was rewriting Shakespearean sonnets as ghazals or so he was proclaiming for the seventeenth time. The reporter had not been invited. Word was his book had not recovered from the reviews it had received from the culture press. A few hands had been shaken, a few backs rubbed and more people and parts cajoled in most agreeable ways to keep him out of the literary circuit. And certainly out of the party of the year. Someone suggested he should run for office.

The hostess rolled another joint for herself and left her house in a big black car that pulled up to the door. It had been a success. Last year had been forgotten. The floor shone. She stared at the onyx ring on the finger. The professor had been laughing in all seriousness the night he had gone down on one painful knee to present it to her.

#flash #fiction 1

This poem

even in a parallel universe –
is there this longing,
this poem?

 

 

I’ve been an infrequent visitor to my blog. Sometimes I write and some of it finds its way to Instagram, the blog, however, is languishing… and nothing, it appears, can do away with Covid or create the mindspace for focused blogging, focused writing, focused anything. But, in the middle of pandemic listlessness, absent inspiration, disappeared muse and a time-devouring day job, I’m compiling a book. More on that, when the path stops being so utterly uphill. Hope to read all your posts this week and write more-post more-read more…think I miss this space… more than I realized. Stay safe all…the planet of the variants is not a friendly place. 

Three Years And Counting

This blog turns three today. Makes me wonder about the journey. Makes me wonder what lies ahead. Makes me wonder how many more poems are waiting.

Am sharing this poem that was published  recently in the Mystic Blue Review. I had responded to an ekphrastic poetry challenge based on the painting titled “Scream” by Edvard Munch. Many thanks to Alexa Findlay for choosing to publish my submission in the second issue of their magazine. (Page 74)

IT WAS THE SMELL
After The Scream by Edvard Munch

Maybe it was the sound of snapping bones that woke
me up inside my pyre, the orange-yellow of the sandal

inferno reminding me of the taste of soft skin and heated
lips, that evening when the setting sky filled every falling

drop and we climbed up rainbows, until you fell, until
you slid into the searing swirl of ink, floating away like

an unspoken word that choked my throat, how did we let
those bridges burn, how did the past become this funeral

bier? It is the smell, though, that gags my throat, the stench
of a life gone bad, the whiff of darkness yet to come, of ashes

that will befoul a reluctant river, why does no one complain
about the smell, why do you drift away holding your nose,

who, just who is screaming here love, look at me, look at the
way the hellish sun keeps on sinking as if it cannot hear.

I also found I’d written micropoetry based on the same piece of art in March 2015.

Turning Two

This blog turns two today.

Today, I will not count the number of posts or views or comments,
as a blogger, perhaps, should,
I will not list all the things I have learnt about poetry and poets,
as maybe a writer should,
But I will remember all the wonderful people I have met and the friends I have made along the way.
As a traveller would.

And I will know that this journey has been worth it.

again, again,
the roses whisper,
tell us again about the ocean