Monday, March 24, 2008

Grand Endless Light (noor-un-ala)

The omnipresence
Your Omnipresence
In all the four directions
You are the grand instrument of light

This showering brilliance cleaves the darkness
You're yonder, You're beyond
Oh this light! What a luminescence!

I ask, is there anyone else other than you?
And when I did
It silenced the dark, blushed the light away to shyness

I asked the birds, where's the sky abound
I asked the silence, then where is the sound?
From flowers, leaves, colours came this ever-blooming song

I raised the veil that revealed what else but your splendour
I raised a step towards where else but your haven
I raised an eye only to what else but your face

In the hum of the bumblebee
In the tinkering of the bangles

In the body and soul of lovers
In the eyes of the woman separated from her beloved
In melody and in symphony
There is just you
You only You

In the heart's crazy pondering
And mind's ceaseless wandering is you
So lift me away from these will you
Life has forever been a mystery
and has been to this day
To empathize, is there a need?
If empathized, who's got the need?
Those who have, some say its love
And some say its prayer

Oh this spell of passionate frenzy
Your grace is only the only way
And that is Love.

(This author's translation of Noor-un-ala by M.F. Hussain. OST Film - Meenaxi.
Picture courtesy Ravneet Kaur, Jahan-e-Khusro)

A Sonnet (reprise)

Crazy mind sojourns a pipe dream
Crazy lil mind, bewildered thoughts beam

Crazy throbs of the heart, crazier sighs
Crazy longings prevail, crazier the nights

Crazy eyes seek a crazier gaze
Crazy mind rests in perpetual haze

Crazy cosmic loner yearns for a crazier soul
Crafty let the world be, as your hand in mine we roll

Crazy let the song, crazier the tune be
Crazy intoxicated feet let sway to a crazier melody

Crazy is the darkness, crazier the silence
Quivering flame glows in a crazier madness

Crazy veil reveals your subtle oblivious gleam
Crazy mind sojourns a pipe dream

My rendition of 'Bawra Mann' by Swanand Kirkire from the Sudhir Mishra film "Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi" 2005


A spring in remembrance

Without you, my love, I shall not find another
Who'll give peace to my soul and indulge me

I've gone and seen it all
America, Russia, Malaysia
There wasn't a difference
They all had a condition in forfiet

Some asked for my time
Some were fascinated with how I look
Some demanded my fidelity
But none wanted my demons

Besides you
No one else
Wanted my demons
Without you
No one else
Shall shade me in the sun

The way you waited a few moments I won't forget
I shan't forget all my life
When you said, looking away
"You shall weep in my memory"
I laughed a strange laugh
But you didn't
You had a secret in your heart
Why didn't you tell me

Without you
No one shall
Reveal this secret to me
Without you
What druid has the cure to my ills
Today I found a note of yours
In which you had scribbled
A Varis Shah couplet
Upon reading which a teardrop fell
What was locked in my eyes
Was revealed today

That these tears of mine
Will be kissed by no one else but you
That, till then these tears of mine
Will wither in the dust.

This author's translation of Rabbi Shergill's Tere Bin.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Through the roof top

Anti-China protests have gone bloody with bad images on TV with the Beijing Olympics at the corner. Its even on Euronews...and now the Europeans are also concerned.

(pic. Miss Tibet 2004 Tashi Yangchen)

I have been with Tibetans and they are nice people, however there were a few issues which I found a bit unnerving and hard to imagine.
To get the fuller image of what 'atrocities' that China has committed on Tibet, I get the better picture here. China has built the Lhasa-Qinghai rail route which is the world's highest rail platform train. Chinese culture has so much to learn from, especially from their rich civilisations which have en-grained thousands of years of research and development. Though communism has its own negative points still China's growth rate been a sustainable above 10%. Every nation has shortcoming, but it depends on the administrators to take the right decisions.

Some segments of the media say that the Kingdom of Tibet was a free country in the past and no other country has a right to take over like this. However, my point is that the problem with Tibet is the ambiguation of international borders to be known as the TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region) since the CHinese invasion. There is one more argument to this point that some historians refer to Tibet as being a part of India. American movies have always made Villians out of China due to their own benefit and interests.

So as a citizen of India, whom do I believe or where do I go? Should I be just another by-stander in this whole issue which is creating waves across the world?

I read the book KORA
Its by Tenzing Tsundue.
He is the so-called flag bearer of protests in India
This guy calls himself as an Tibetan with an Indian heart. He stays in Dharamsala and also calls himself a Mumbaikar.
But still thats an emotional angle to things however when one looks at resolving international affairs one should take an administrative stand.
Only when china attacked these poor and peaceful people, they came to their senses and started shouting for independence.
what was happening before?
did no one try to proclaim anything about Tibet?
Don't you think that this is a false baseless war of loss of identity with the enemy being no one and themselves left to be blamed?

For instance, Lets consider myself as a tramp, a nomad.
I have no fixed address.
I roam the world and call it my home.
And I am "where I lay my head is home" types.
But do you think anybody will recognise me this way?
I need an ID, a permit, a visa, a nationality.

The time before China attacked, Tibetans were happy living like nomadic peaceful tribes I don't see anywhere that has mentioned Tibet as an independent nation though there is a mention of a kingdom. To that I have to say that India has had its own share of kingdoms which were deemed 'princely states' during the Raj. We have our own issues here.

Rules and laws are need to attain equilibrium from chaos, or else it would end in a way we see that its happening now. Tibetan administrators should have thought of it in ancient times. It would had protected the affected and the vulnerable.

There was a time when shangri-la was considered heaven, an obscure paradise
on earth. Decades later we discovered Tibet.

They should have voiced an independence claim for nationhood eons back
instead of now creating a fracas every now and then infront of the Chinese embassy in Delhi. More so, worsening matters when the Indo-Sino relations are just about to bloom and flourish. The bloodshed has already started. Thats a complete display of stupidity. The Holy Dalai Lama is but a crippled megalomaniac turned politician and Tsundue is a rockstar, climbing embassy floors with the Tibetan flag in hand to protest against visiting Chinese dignitaries. Is this monkey business going to create a solution when you are dealing with someone really powerful?

I was in Dharamsala, and there you will find Tibetans reluctant to speak properly with you as if it was their country and region. Interestingly their attitude towards expats are very friendly. Are they forgetting the fact that if India weren't to take a soft stand for Tibetans, they would not had succored refuge in any other country?
Inspite of all this way the circus and furore by these 'peaceful' people in Delhi which in itself is the capital of a country known for advocating peace and restraint?

(pic. - A serene Mcleodgunj street, at my visit a month ago)
You cant speak Hindi...or you show you can't,
You cant speak English or at least you show you can't,
and still you live as a free being in our country.
and you act like you are someone alien. Why this attitude?
Dharamsala is mini Tibet and in the beautiful heart of India.
There is another huge Tibetan camp in the world situated in Dharwar, Karnataka, with over 50,000 in population. Allow me to humour, would they become the new extended Kingdoms of Tibet?

Tsundue talks about torture on Tibetans by Chinese, like inserting of electric rods in vaginas of tibetan women. Now listening to that will I become an extremist like Tenzing?

If I were a Tibetan, I probably would have. Well these stories are definitely heartrending but then you should look at the problem more at the administrative level keeping in mind the psychological impacts. Like for instance, the major reason for the Abu Ghraib and Guatanamo Bay prison tortures by the American army was a direct repercussion of Bush's prolonged military regime in Iraq. Fresh American blood is turning crazy living in Iraq dust for almost a decade now.

Finally I would just like to say that when you can't protect your identity in your own country...then I don't believe it is any use to cry hoarse under the belly of the beast.
This is all that I have to collate to all my known and unknown Tibetan friends.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A prayer in spiritual replenishment

Vexation of spirit is a waste of time
Negative thinking is a waste of thought
Verbal conflict is a waste of word
Physical conflict is a waste of flesh

People will always be who they want
And that's what really makes the world go round
Unconditional love is scarce
Now and forever more
Forever more, forever more...

You've always been good to me
Even when I'm not good to myself
You've always been fair to me
Even when I'm not fair to myself
You've always done right by me
So I will do right by you...

You see, you've always had faith in me
And so I'll have faith in you
You've always been there for me
And so I'll be there for you...

Bless your eyes and may your days be long
Bless your eyes and may your dreams come true
May you rise on the morning when the kingdom come
Good deeds aren't remembered in the hearts of men.

- Damian Jr. Gong Marley