Wednesday, August 30, 2006

in translation, i am lost

I find myself missing Delhi in the strangest of ways.
I miss hearing Hindi/Hindustani. The sound of it. The inability of walking up to my flatmates, sweet people all, and talking to them of Paash, or Faiz, or Nida Fazli, or Ghalib.
I found myself, on a rain soaked Sunday evening in Central Park, reciting poetry loud to the grass and the sky and the rain and the trees.

And doing arbit, not very good translations.
Like this one, of Faiz.
Not very good, I know. Particularly unhappy with the last line.

Suggestions, anyone?

Last night your memory came to me
Like the spring quietly, in a desolation
Like a wind gentle in the desert dawn
Like relief from pain unasked for

A translation of

Raat yun dil mein teri khoi hui yaad aayi
Jaise veerane main chupke se bahaar aa jaye
Jaise sehraaon main haule se chale bad-e-naseem
Jaise beemaar ka be vajah karaar aa jaaye

Monday, August 28, 2006

nerd central

The weather is perfect, what the'd call a balmy night. Wind and a hint of rain, cool but not cold.
You're walking along with a pretty girl after listening to Sonny Rollins live at the Lincoln Centre, playing some exquisite jazz.
You look for a trashcan to dump a paper cup you're holding and you can't find any. You start singing Sunday Bloody Sunday.
You stop mentally, and rewind, trying to figure how you got from the one to the other, apart from the fact that it is a Sunday.

Oh yes, the trash can. Not finding one. You remember that there aren't too many public trash cans in London either, and that's because the IRA used to put bombs in them. And Sunday Bloody Sunday is about 'theTroubles' that led to the absence of trash cans.

You realize that your subconcious (or whatever) mind, rather than plotting moves on aforesaid pretty girl, has been processing history/trivia/pop culture from the nineteen eighties.

You find a trash can. You dump the cup. You might as well dump all hope as well.

You're in the most happening city in the world and bets on you scoring currently stand at a million to one.

An M66 crosstown bus stops nearby. You start singing 'At the Zoo'.

Welcome to nerd central.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


It's the afternoon of Wednesday, I've been in New York less than twenty four hours, my friend F and I walk out of the Columbia campus to the corner of 115th and Broadway, and by the trash can at the corner someone's just dumped two cartons of books. I pick up a hard bound copy of Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard, F picks up Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities. Just like that. Welcome to Noo Yawk.
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