Memoirs of an Ardent Particularist


Suffice it to say that I am an ardent particularist. What this means is that I like to look at the particulars (Duh!). So for example, I like the deep furrows on a withered tree trunk, the jet black curly hair of a woman walking past me, the swing of a very short skirt on the behind of a girl in front of me, the sunflower like irises in my husband's blue pupils, the soft and gentle curves of his body, the shape of a pebble that skirts off the tyres of a truck at a construction site, the toc-toc-toc of the table tennis ball on the table, the feel of a full mango fruit in the palm of your hand, a bowl of translucent, red, pomegranate seeds, the speckled sunlight on a patch of grass under a tree, the deep yearning for someone you care about and love, the deep sense of grief when you have to forget someone you love, the mixture of white steamed rice and pink oleander petals strewn on the cold dark stone tile of the temple, the smell of a decaying banana leaf, the pungent smell of a raw mango just fallen from the tree, the clang of utensils and the clamour of sundry voices and stray dogs infused with the smell of boiling tea as India wakes to life every morning, and so on...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

I, Body

My rebellious body
Bulging, protruding, bursting.
Burning, boiling, inflamed.
Wailing in anguish,
Wet with searing tears of pain.
Prematurely grey, numb, stiff, deprived, panting.

Rebelling and taunting my
brain, my mind, my intellect,
my desires, my ambitions.
Screaming for recognition.
Demanding respect.
Begging for kindness.

Absorbing my emotions.
Defending my self against the
onslaught of abuse and humiliation.
Surviving, conceiving, producing
my child, my wisdom,
some self-respect, some self-esteem.

Skeptical, teaching me
to draw back the veils of illusions
of love, relationships, intelligence, hope.
She sent me spiraling into the valley of depression


I became her.

I became my Body.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Walking Through the Wall of Depression

Once, when I was buried in darkness,
I walked.
I walked till I saw
the sunshine,
the yellow daffodils
on the green grass,
waves of summer wild flowers,
the pleasure of an orgasm,
the catharsis of spicy Thai curry sauce,
the melody of the Scottish harp.

I breathed. I became alive.

I walked till I hit
the brick wall.
So high I could not see
the sky.
It rapidly encircled me in catatonic darkness,
Entombing. Catacombing. Immobilizing.

Now, years since,
I have scaled the wall
To see the sky and the sun.
But now, my limbs are worn down
to the bones.
Flames lick my still gaping, burning wounds.
I am a hollow shell of my former self.

I see the sky and the sun,
The yellow daffodils on the grass,
The waves of wild flowers and
the exciting Thai curry sauce.
But I am so tired.
So worn out.
So stunned.
So numb.
Now, I breathe so I may sleep.
And sleep.
And sleep.
And sleep.
Yet NOW, I MUST walk.
I NEED to walk to live.
But I sleep. And sleep. And sleep...

-- GST

Sunday, November 08, 2009

My Rage

It was hot, molten lava.
Orange, flowing,

Scorching my flesh.
Sizzling my skin.
Drying my joints.
Snapping my bones into pieces.

I spilled the rage
Of my ANCESTORS on to my self.
I burnt. And burnt.
And BURNT, while it devoured me.

Now I cool down
With the soft splashes of
My understanding and my love for myself.
I become rock.

Hard, cool, igneous rock.
Solid, imperturable, immovable,
Detached, Mountain of rock.
Now I repose in peace.

Like a stone cast into the ocean,
I sink further and farther
To the deep depths
Of the ocean floor.

Unconcerned to all around me,
Indifferent to all expectations,
Enconsced in the cool, dense, dark waters.
Now I repose.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Serenading Forgotten Daffodils

I saw bunches of daffodils
At the supermarket.
Arrested by their effervescent yellowness.
Pale delicate petals
On reed-like green stems,
Four-nintey-nine for four.
With long mouths like a carp's,
Fringed with delicate shrivels
And framed by a plate of
Soft, sheer, yellow petals.
So evocatively described in the
Words of Wordsworth
As to preclude ordinary mortals
With illusions of poetic skills
From ever serenading these bunches
Of soft, cool sunshine
Commoditized by the supermarket.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rio Maniqui

Milky-way extending from horizon to horizon. A million stars stud the dark blanket of the night. The full moon garnished with moisture-laden, heavy, creamy clouds. The other bank fringed with trees and grasses in profile. The waist-deep river flows noiselessly.

The occasional plop of the crocodile. ??? !!!

Or a fish.

No mosquitoes, no jitum. A slight cool breeze.

Five on the bank with rum and hot chocolate. The fire burns enthusiastically, flames leaping out of the logs, licking the air, stretching their tongues out- long and persistent.

Happy tongues of flame.

Three on the bank. Heavy, sleepy, lazy tongues of flames.

Two on the bank. Embers kept reluctantly alive. Warming feet and socks. SLeepy. Sad. Silent.

One on the bank. Burnt socks. Solitude. Borges.

One on the bank with a desire to hug the night. To never let it go. To stay awake till morning, afraid to miss the night, hoping to discover it's magic secret hidden just behind the veil of darkness studded with hot orange lava.

One on the bank.

The One.


The churros at Restaurante Manolo┬┤s on Via Argentina are so yummy! Better in the evening when they are slightly warm. Filled with dulce de leche that oozes out of the grooved, cylindrical breading with every bite. Brown, thick, gooey, sweet, tantalizing, rich, erotic, heaven. I savour every bite, dig my tongue into the chamber of dulce de leche before setting it down. Chewing the crisp, granular sugar and hearing it crunch into the layer of browned breading and then the softness of the less cooked interior, and then the thick, wanting to melt, now melting dulce de leche, I am convinced I would walk five miles for these churros.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Dirge to a Piece of My Self.

I hear him sing,
Teazing out a melody,
Strumming his guitar with his fingers
Dancing adroitly between the strings,
Like Naga dancers
Hopping between bamboo poles.

I am so moved
As I watch his form,
One with the guitar,
At peace with the world.

The notes and his voice
Float towards me,
Caressing my soul,
Gathering my emotions
From the forgotten corners of my heart.

So much affection for him
Wells up in me
That I feel as if I have fallen in love
For the duration of the Song.

'In my secret life',
I now tresspass on sentiments
That I can no longer express,
Nor demonstrate towards him.
For they are now rightfully another's.

The Song is over now.

My heart is empty now.

I mourn the death of a piece of my self.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

On wathching TV

I like watching TV. Its the only place where I can watch people talking, conversing, discussing, connecting. I lie on the couch and they let me watch them. I can talk to them in my mind. They are more human than the beings around me - beings carrying a facade of being human, who talk to one another from the skin, look at each other with hollow, empty eyes, who pass each other and painfully crease their lips afraid to actually break in a smile. And then we go home, and plop down in front of the TV, where live our fictive family and friends - to be switched on and off at our pleasure.

On "melodiously exploding"....

I recently came across a phrase in one of Borges' parables ("Everyone and no one" In Labyrinths: pg 249): " so many lovers who converge, diverge, and then melodiously explode". The phrase "melodiously explode" grasped my attention. I thought it was the most beautiful and the most succinct way to describe the cornucopia of literature and music and films and theatre and all other forms of art that is now the wealth of the human race. It is not in falling in love or in falling out of it that originality and creativity of thought and sentiment is born. It is in the moments afterwards when that self of ours withers from the sorrow and then "melodiously explodes" that all of this is born, while the self dies.

It follows therefore that to keep living the creative life, and to not be dead before the mortal death, one must keep falling in love over and over again and create new selves to do so that will then die and explode brilliantly while doing so. Fall in love with people, nature, ideas, colours, textures, tastes, work, and all of the things that surround us.

Hm! "Melodiously explode"... what a beautiful and brilliant phrase!

PS: The sentence is actually "For twenty years he persisted in that controlled hallucination, but one morning he was suddenly gripped by the tedium and the terror of being so many kings who die by the sword and so many suffering lovers who converge, diverge, and melodiously expire." So the phrase is "melodiously expire", not "melodiously explode". Which is unfortunate, because the latter is much more dramatic and eloquent. I guess I own the phrase now :-)