Monday, August 8, 2011

The silent raga

It had been almost 3 weeks since I read a book and was itching to get my hands on one. I had tons of time on my hands and decided to read a book more than 450 pages. I just picked this book 'the silent raga' by Ameen Merchant, without reading the cover or without a glance at the name of the author. I read super fast and can finish a book that big in about 2-3 hours. I wanted to go slow and easy and read this one in 2 days.

I did just that. I read this slowly. Very slowly. Enjoyed every word, every line and every sequence. I loved all the characters. Janaki the most ofcourse! The book is based on the life of 2 tamil brahmin girls. The book is heavily layered with Carnatic music and the life of orthodox families in an agraharam (a cluster of families of the same caste). A few characters could have been given more importance. Asgar, Janaki's husband for example. Its  not clear how Janaki meets Asgar and how she got married to him. Some mysterious threads have left untraveled.

Despite all this, Janaki lives with you long after you have shut the book. Its not her veena, its not her wise words or her deeds or her pain. Its her silence that lives with you. The silence that refuses to go away. How much ever you try to shake it off.

PS: This is not a review of the book. I just had to get Janaki out of my system by writing about her. But I doubt that happened and will happen :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A moment in time

She Woke up listening to the chirping of birds
With no agenda for the day,
Keep her feet on the cold floor and stretched.
Her eyes fell on the window,
She turned away thinking the view was a picture or a calendar.
She looked again, closely and stood very still.

That is when she saw the gradual movement of the clouds over the snow covered peaks.
She watched as the sun gradually turned the peak silver and then turned it to gold.
She stood watching the birds fly by,
She heard the mist dripping from the leaves,
A few cattle grazing on the green meadows,
On a normal day, she would have frantically run for her camera,
Today, she just stood holding the window pane,
Tears rolled down her cheek as she stood
mesmerized by the spell that nature had cast on her.