The last few years has been a lot of late nights working, and in the lows of those hours between midnight and dawn I always end up questioning the larger purpose of my life. This is a poem for those times.
From the sketchbook Captivity (Feb 2017)
What better way to welcome the new year if not with food and drink. I’m sure the Anteater would agree. From the last 2 years I found that food has been such a recurring theme – If I’ve not Instagrammed it, I’ve probably drawn it.
Here’s a “rare” family Friday dinner. My in laws were visiting and we went to Amalfi in GK2.
Here’s the food I ate on a quick weekend trip to visit my family in Kolkata. I always think that love in Indian families is all about food. Most of us didn’t grow up with verbal articulations of love, and we demonstrate our love, especially in families, by cooking for and feeding our loved ones.
Most of the food below was made by my Ma and Chhotoma.
“Whoever eats fish curry with roti?”Said my mother
I gained 2 kilos with all that love!
This is a drawing I made while eating by myself and reading a poem one day. I forgot what I was eating and I can’t even remember the poem, but I enjoyed it enough to draw about it!
What if I could gather all the people who taught me to love around my dinner table? We would drink coffee and eat pizza.
Antara would be chopping onions because she’s always doing something, and whenever I chop onions I think of her. Snehasis would be listening to his wife and observing the world to make fun of them later. Ananya would be under the table reading because she doesn’t always like to socialise. Lekha would be sitting quietly and smiling in happiness. Atul and Reshmy would be having some long and complicated conversation where they would both not be listening to the other. Viv would be drawing happily. I forgot to draw Orin but he is the one person who forced his way into my life and made me love him.
Let’s hope 2019 is all this, and more.
A year or so ago, I used to have a morning ritual of waking up and reading some poetry with coffee. Once in a while I would read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and during that time, I also read White by Kenya Hara. (It’s such a meditative, beautiful book, and it was rather a spiritual and other worldly experience for me.)
One of those mornings, I read this poem by Denise Levertov. Though it’s about immersing our human consciousness in the natural world, to me the last few lines evoked how we continue to voluntarily lose ourselves in the virtual world.
“No one discovers
just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again
–but we have changed, a little.”
From the sketchbook called Finding Soo • August 2016.
I was reading this beautiful poem by Campbell McGrath the other day. You can also listen to it on the Poetry Foundation site.
For you, my luscious fig
the Taj Mahal wouldn’t be too big
For you, my sweet paratha
I’d write a poem longer than the Mahabharata
I’d walk backwards over the Himalayas
if you’d spend with me your nights and dayas
For the maharani I adore
I’d steal the priceless Kohinoor
to hear you say
“That dog is great!’
For you my learned guru
I’d learn to speak Urdu
and for my true-blue fakir
I’D pluck the rarest rose from Kashmir
I’d practise Ahimsa
for one quick glimpsa
your pure clear white soul
the one that knows all.
So come my darling Darjeeling
my prize, my jewel,
my everything –
our Karma can’t be clearer
there’s no one I hold dearer
no Fata Morgana
it’s you that I wanna
share Nirvana with.
Swami on Rye,