Saturday, October 27, 2007

Love Songs for Amogh

Love Songs for Amogh
Sachin Ketkar
Torment of thirty five worlds
Falls away
With your smile
A resplendent star
In the evening
Of my hazel eyes
You have fathered me, Amogh
Before I die
I haven’t come across yet
Love poems from fathers to their sons
It is not manly enough
To write a one
But here I am
Looking at the blank paper
In front of me
The paper white purity
Of your skin
When the nurse placed you
In my hands for the first time
Your first dark faeces
When I changed your diapers the first time
Injecting cow’s milk
From a needless syringe
Into your mouth
I remember your ceaseless howling
On the second night
When your mother had not started lactating
Do father lactate?
They may
For they are females too
This poem for instance
Oozes out of the nib
Instead of my nipple.
I absolutely had no idea
My elf
That all along
You were hiding
In some obscure corner of my mind
Playing your usual peek a boo
Though I could feel
That you probably reached out
With your palm
When I tried to hear
Your somersaults
And flying kicks
Inside your mom
I remember
How you wetted
My umpteenth pajama
When I used to rock you on my laps
Sitting cross legged
(Yes, you could fit into the frame then)
During midnight hours
I also remember trying to put you asleep
On my shoulders
When you were bent on staying awake
With your mischief
Yes, fathering a father
Can be a tough job
But you did it pretty well.


I don’t know exactly why
We decided to name you `Amogh’
Your name means the infallible one
An unfailing weapon
But I know now
That I aimed my arrow
At my aging agony
It hasn’t really missed its mark.
I have hardly anything on me
To pass on to you
With joy
The books I read
Are as dark as the ones I write
My genetic records
Are not commendable either
They haven’t isolated
The Asthma gene yet
It has latched itself on to you
Neither do I think that they can ever identify
The gene for poetry
Which is probably as bad
Or even worse
For it means
To be condemned forever
To live alone
Like a man with an extra pair
Of testicles
Hiding his shame
In the shadows of the world
In these hands
I have held the ovaries
Of my aged mother
Floating in a flask
Where seeds of suffering were first sown
I have seen my wife
Writhing and bleeding in her labors
I have seen eyeballs
Of my friends father
Who was quite fond of me
Extracted and bottled
For posterity
I have been overrun
By asthma
In the Oxford Botanical Gardens
Where I thoughtlessly went
And spent rest of the evening
Floating in warm water of the bath tub
As if in amniotic fluid
Thousands of kilometers away from home
I have sat up wheezing
Any number of nights
From past two and half decades
Clutching the stubborn old darkness
Under my belly
For support
I have seen family friends
Swindle my father of his hard earned money
I have cremated dozens of old skulls
And heard them crack in their pyres
I have seen madness of love
In the woman’s eyes
I know the feeling of oneness
When I make love to her
But it is so different
From the feeling of love I have
When you sleep in my arms
Dreaming of innocence
I kiss your small white shoulders
Feel the fragrance of your fingers
Playing with my ear lobes
I haven’t seen much of life
But I haven’t been entirely ignorant of death
But to catch a glimpse of love
And to be touched
By the beauty of the whole world
Is sufficient
To make a prematurely graying man
Without youth or childhood
Amogh, for you
I have attempted the impossible
-writing a poem on happiness
But who cares if I fail
As long as your paradisal beauty
Lights up
The fading lamps of my eyes
24 Oct 2007
11 15 pm

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Intimations of Digital (Im)Mortality

Some days ago, during an academic meet, a senior professor professed that blogs confer immortality of sorts upon people. What shall I do with this immortality of my Digital Soul, when my second-wave Ist Generation Soul experiences mortality every moment?

But it is true that this world wide web phenomenon is a very liberating one as Chitre once rightly observed. The World Wide Web is a small place too, and you bump into the same people- as on Orkut or Facebook-often!

The Net will change the way people relate to each other and to things. It will also change the way writing relates to society and the way society relates to writing. But how and in what way? Who knows? time alone will tell. It will change the way people `publish' things and the way people `read' stuff probably. No,the old fashion first generation `book' wont give way to ebook, but probably in some other way. How? Well who can tell?