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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Poets In Us

If I could write even a smidgen of poetry I would be a neo-romantic. I had pictured myself as a nihilist, unsentimental realist in the vein of the deliciously cynnical Philip Larkin or an outspoken erratic Ted Hughes.

But there you have I was reading Dylan's 'Poem in October' and 'Hunchback in the Park' it struck me with the force of a slap. Honestly, it was enough to turn my stomach. I am a nostalgic fool fervently pressing down, with gentle fingers, faded memories of my life back in Gulmohar Park, Delhi. Back when life was so amazingly uncomplicated except for a burden called school.

If I ever got around to writing that dratted book it would be about us - a pack of vagabonds flying kites near Harivansh Rai Bachchan's house hoping that one would snag and we would finally find out if Bachchanji really did have a rooftop swimming pool. It would be us carefully cultivating Famous Five and Secret Seven mannerisms, looking for hidden islands and obvious mysteries. Us, climbing trees and sending garbled torch signals house to splattered across different cities, still in touch and so mundanely adult.

"And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
Of Sunlight
And the legends of the green chapels.
And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine"
- Poem in October (Dylan Thomas)

Why a venerable old gentleman should soak in a rooftop pool is anybody's guess but for us that was the epitome of all things unattainable - a rooftop that was was probably dotted with sodden junk and Amitabh's rusting baby pram - but we never did find out and perhaps it is better this way.

Blast frm the Past - Nostalgia Trip on this blog


Anusha said...

Do you remember that time when we all went on our cycles searching for the perfect park to ahve a picnic, and finally found one in Niti bagh. The next day when we reached there early in the morning, we found it overrun with huge pigs! And then we had to have our picnic in the b block Big park.
Also remember the playing hide and seek in the new naalis near Misha's house. We went in there with torches etc..... till someone saw us and told all our parents! I remember sooo many things!!
Like our grand X mas celebrations....... where gaks, chinks and me were permenantly the 3 kings....... and the gifts of bindis etc we used to get our parents!

Shankari said...

waiting for that book!


Anusha said...

btw I do remember speaking to someone who had either worked in the house or had been in the house (I dont remember who it was) but they said that there was no swimming pool up there!

preeti said...

how can u forget the 'P' man. and the man we found pee-ing while playing hide and seek in the gullies!! ru - can i co-author the book? or perhaps make a TV show out of it!!

Lotus Reads said...

Hey, isn't April "Poetry Month"? I'm off to read some Leonard Cohen! Nice post, Mellow!

Id it is said...

I could not help but quote from my all time favorite, Wordsworth who wrote some heartrending poetry to express 'nostalgia':
a. "...When oft upon that couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils."

"But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration: -- feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love"
Tintern Abbey By Wordsworth
Sorry for the lengthy comment!

saraldutt said...


ankurindia said...

nice blog

jumping translocation said...

Poetry et moi; we just never seem to get on very well. It's one of those in Life that does not agree with my system at all. Don't suppose, now, that make me a romantic of some sort?!

Mellowdrama said...

Lotus: I love Cohen!!! Aka not the poetry persay just his music

Id it is: knw I detested poetry...coz one has to perpetually read between the lines, Daffodils also has a 'spiritual significance' apparently. Btw why can't poets just say it like they mean it??? I think my favourite poets are Browning and Philip Larkin - no inner meanings thank ye - entertaining and straighfwd. Sorry for the lengthy comment..hehe:)

Sarla, Akur: Thank ye

Jumping T: Lol I know what you mean we are pretty much the same you knw - just trying to cut thru some inhibitions