Friday, August 31, 2012


You were so slim
elegantly simple
like the letter aliph,
as the arabs say.

You did so much 
with so little, 
ignored often, you
never complained

You stood for 
lingusitic unity
not the hard
mathematical one.

You bestowed space
breathing and personal,
granted me choice - 
nothing was final.

Sentences swirl around me
I miss a quiet presence
singular, ethereal
indefinite article 'a'.

* Bidding Adieu to the Indefinite Article in Modern Indian English

"I have sent you one mail", messages a friend. "Yesterday I saw one movie", informs a colleague.  A kannaDiga youngster comments with disdain, "he is one fellow" - translating "ಅವನೊಬ್ಬ" directly.

The more I hear conversations and read mails and messages, the more I miss the indefinite article, and hence this Adieu.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Woman

1981. It was a cold winter morning in Mysore. The unseasonal rains, in December, had made it colder. The Bay of Bengal had a depression. (Time someone took it to a psychiatrist, or vice versa, don't you think?) That was causing these grey stratus clouds drizzle down on you relentlessly. 

I had recently taken up a job in Mysore after short stints at Ranchi and Bombay. I had a Suvega (a moped) to commute to work. I also had a new raincoat - the same vintage as the moped. I wore the raincoat and started my moped and started off for work, riding through deserted streets. I felt good - so committed I am. I felt brave - thumbing my nose at the cold and the rain and here I was off to work.

My ego suffered quite a puncture. The streets were deserted, did I say? Yes, except one girl on a bicycle! I often  passed her pedalling briskly to work on normal days. I had to see her today? There she was, pedalling more briskly, in a white sari with a blue border, holding the handle with her left hand and an umbrella in the other.