Perspectives from the Himalaya

The Mahabharata #1: Dharma and Human Degradation

Judge a book, not by its cover. Big A has searching questions hurled towards me with prodding eyes when he saw the Mahabharata Vol.1 (unabridged translation by Bibek Debroy) and Child of God (Cormac McCarthy) glued together on my reading stack almost as if, twined by crime. Truth be told, these pages could not be more polarised in their content and culture, style and artistry.…

Paragliding: Placing Things in Perspective

He was dragged out of bed after multiple callings had failed to stir him. When he finally showed himself, his face was black, like an eternal night. He trudged out - strewing, spitting, littering a trail of grumpdust. Pulled by a determined invisible hand to anchor him into the local jeep, his heavy footsteps brought a cloud of dust around his ankles and onto the…

Heartstrings

We hear a voice with the reverberance of our uttering. We see eyes and we hear ears so like our mothers' and fathers', aunts' and uncles', grandmothers' and grandfathers'. We may see ourselves in others in ways that we do not always like or we may feel alienated from those who are supposed to be closest to us. Our love language may be of opposite…

The Echo Within

Stories came. Submerged in a simmering pot of words, text, thought and imagery. The brew bubbled around the rim of the pot attempting to overflow from its infusion of magical interpretations of life, prose and poetry from the wise and the wise. From those who have lived and walked the path, those who have daringly searched the depths of their hearts and souls, those who…

Shadows of the Coming Race v2.0: Humanity in the Face of Artificial Intelligence

In the not-so-distant future, or now some argue, the moment we have long anticipated is upon us. Mama I embarks on an exploration of the hypothetical terrain where the superpower of artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technology boldly traverse the boundaries of human capabilities. Within this realm, a striking notion emerges—one where highly evolved machines stand poised to transcend humanity itself, potentially supplanting our roles and…

Rain Stories

Clouds gather in the sky. Their shades of grey multiply, their shapes transmogrify. The wind sweeps through, a gentle messenger bringing the scent of rain. A hush fell over the land where its earth had been toiled, dislodged and resettled. The air when once, filled with dust and debris, din and drill, now swells as rain begins to form. And when the first raindrop lodges…

The Seed of Swara

"Men can do nothing without the make-believe of a beginning. Even science, the strict measurer, is obliged to start with a make-believe unit, and must fix on a point in the stars' unceasing journey when his sidereal clock shall pretend that time is at Nought. His less accurate grandmother Poetry has always been understood to start in the middle; but on reflection it appears that…

A Reset

When fragmentation occurs and the path taken bends unexpectedly, the physicality of being begins to shred little by little. On the mat, realignment occurs. Breath slows down and becomes the companion that cleans the slate. A reset. The shades of sun and earth begin to colour the walls, glowing and warm so that the attention of the dweller turns out to the beauty that lays…

Where the Heart Resides

The first days back in the tropics took a little adjustment. Memories of the brisk-paced city were lucid and poignant but the senses, having taken a euphonious nature of rural mellowness for a good time, took to returning with less fervent. There was the constant hum of the compressor in the background, the impatient and incessant traffic that had a life of its own and…

Reading from the Smithereen Effect

Fog blanketed the sky like stained muslin hovering above, gifting nothing to vision. Devoured by darkness, dawn could not penetrate. Yet, darkness offers solace - so infiltrating, tranquillizing and still. The arrival of cool wind shifted the clouds. It was a relief but it was also a precarious prelude to a thunderstorm. The wind howled, ushering the mighty pavlova ones before the sky released its…

Delirium in Dusk and Dawn

The day expired in rouge. Throngs of whistling fork-tail birds weighed the trees. The windows became black mirrors and faces watched back. Out there lay stillness from human centrism. Things were beginning to get unsettling as sepia grips the landscape and the forest transmutes into a haunting neighbour. Shadows of dismembered branches thrust deep into the ground to prop new life, stood stoic like haggard…

Wintering through Darkness, Dostoevsky & Drops of Sweetness

It seems to be that the first day of the year is always a good day for cake. And 6 days later. And 13 days before the new year. It is the annual cake triathlon peeking at the intersection of the close of one year and the beginning of another and there is cause for celebrating the birth of 2 boys and 1 man, or…

O’dark Hundred Hours

We have been rooted to the earth in a way in which that hour between dusk and dawn awaits for quiet, for rest and recuperation. Time seems to stop. But at the darkest hour, the throbbing that hums beneath our feet surfaces above the tranquillity. For the nocturnal, it is an opening of portals to mischief and play, an opportunity to listen to the shadows…

Shifting Earth Dust: Moving In

It came with a ruffle and a tussle and a year late. We finally found ourselves shifting earth dust of our new home during Navaratri 2021. The final touch came with helping hands, jitterbugs and blessings from extended family across the Indian border and other Nepali towns. The kitchen went through a startled startup when the installation of the gas stove made a fiery scene.…

Capturing the Sound of Violence: Zombie

1994 was a year when the unique sound of Dolores O’Riordan, the lead vocalist of Cranberries sang through the charts globally and could be heard on the radio daily. “Zombie” was the Irish alternative rock band’s response to the Provisional IRA’s bomb attacks on Warrington in Cheshire, England in 1993 that resulted in the deaths of 2 young boys and wounding 54 others. The emergence…

Cultivating a Landscape for Our Children

Everywhere we live, there is a place where we can linger in formlessness until form takes place. Everywhere we go, there is a path that leads the way; sometimes in the shadow of the moon and sometimes in the starkness of the sun. Every now and then, there is an unbeaten trail prodding a temptation. In this land where the sky meets earth and where…

A Mother to the World

You left us too soon. In a blink of an eye, you were gone. We were stumped and numbed and anaesthetized.To reflect on mortality in the wake of your departure, taken away so quietly from the clasp of your beloveds, a murkiness so thick and stifling surfaces. It stirs the insides, like a nauseating whirlwind. And then, a sudden void lingers so cold and alien, and…

The Rose Moon amidst Monsoon in the face of Lockdown

It was 2 am. A shard of moonbeam sneaked through the window and shed her light loud on the covers of the bed. I lay awake, quite sure it was the rose moon enticing me to accompany her on this warm night. I accepted her invitation and ambled to the balcony. Greeted by the rosy glow of her perfection and her play on the snow-capped…

Saying the Unsaid: An Act of Interpretation

I am what I make of myself. In an attempt, to interpret life as it is. The story could read differently tomorrow. I could wake up to see life more beautiful than I did today, or bleaker than the night before. Which is why it has taken dawns to write, re-write and revise this post. I finally understand that writing is an act of interpretation.…

Life’s Gift of Uncertainty through a Kafkaesque Lens

Licked up in the dust and hullabaloo of Kathmandu and a far cry from the soothing lullaby of Astam village, I write with an ironic sense - of fullness. Words come humped and bumped from a place of uncertainty, frustration and disheartenment; words of transient and fleetingness; words reading disruption of rhythm; words carved out from a journey that we have chosen to put ourselves…

Magic Seeds: Cultivating a Rural Flavour

Little A's bottom has a mysterious disability to sit during most meals. Not unless he amuses himself with pencil and paper, playing cards and with Big A thrown into the equation as he slogs through his meal. There may be a valid theory that the Italians invented pizza and pasta a good while ago to keep their little Italianos seated and behaved. Tried and tested…

A Fleeting Pink

"The sky is pink!" Little A exclaims upon his first glimpse of daylight from the bedroom window."Mama, can you bring the sky to me?" he enquired, befuddled as he was. He rubs his eyes and fumbled for his slippers, treading to the outside world framed from the balcony. Sunbeams penetrated the thick pavlovian clouds casting a shimmering hue of rainbow glitter across the valley. A…

Weaving Threads and Dusting the Cobwebs

Restrained by the relentless monsoon rain whilst the dung beetles roll in glee, I settled on the balcony, watching the vastness of life before me. The black birds frolicking in the dew of the trees, acquiring scruffy crests drenched in mischief. A spider floats into eye view hanging playfully on her thread from the edge of the ceiling, in search of a meal. She spots…

The song of Monsoon, Just Is.

Before dawn, in consciousness I awake.At once, sound breaks into the stillness of night.I lay, hearing the cacophony of cicadas, crickets and frogs,Orchestrating their songs of eligibility.Their volumes, rising and vibrating with the tides of the moon,Deafening in synchronicity.Chaos and madness it seems at first,But in composition and orchestration, without masterpiece,The oscillation of rhythm is to perfection.The song of millions, thunders through twilight and dawn,Pulsating…