Posted in Artwork, Painting, Poem

The Painting That Could Not Be Completed

Painting in progress

Can I call it art-
If the thoughts were too muddled
Leaving the canvas with blotches of chaos
Not draining the colour alone,
Not exhausting time alone,
But also the artist?

Can I call it art-
If the painter was looking for peace,
Wondering if her brushes had some skills bequeathed
Only to realize that more was required-
May be a deeper thought, an assertive reflection
A master stroke that might evoke a loud reaction?

Can I call it art-
If the existential crisis daunted upon the artist?
With all those ifs, whys and buts-
A gesture to move on and never return to the exacerbated canvas
Alas! That painting- that could not be completed.
Will it still be called- A R T-
If I am the artist?

Posted in People, Poem

A Family Reunion

Image source: Unknown

Alas! I can’t paint a soiree
With Victorian costumes and gestures that speak of grandiose
The year being twenty-twenty-one,
It’s just four people; and three screens.
Living in time zones with different days and nights
Measuring distance in kilometers- and also miles
Each day they try to stay together
Haha- to no surprise failing miserably.
But tonight it is special
The siblings laugh at their usual banters-
For they have learnt to put away the dullness quite adroitly,
The mother asks them to come back home just like each day-
Not for too long; may be just a visit till new memories are created for her to hold on
But tonight it’s the father who imparts new and the unknown
He sheds a tear of joy
And reveals that he stands tall with pride, acknowledging the two kids who try to now be adults
May be, it is the empty glass of whiskey beside the vacant dinner table
The two children: unaware, awkward and shy-
Gleam for a moment with joy- untill they return to their usual banters and frivolous complaints
The year being twenty-twenty-one
It’s just four people; and three screens-
And a million emotions that timidly scream.

Posted in People, Poem

The Labour Chowk Pageant

Image Source: Unknown

He is handsome,
Just a little worn out and tired
Each morning; early- even before the sun rises
He stands amidst the streets with a wish to finally be admired.
He dresses up worthy-
Adorned in his rusty tools and rugged clothes
Soaked in the ambition to go to a new a home this morning-
Hoping to work himself up for the next few days
With someone needy of his skills
With someone willing to put a price on his advice
Or merely a meal or two for his loved ones in return of his patience to accept himself as a fool.

But sadly, it’s an auction-
Rather a sale with offers and discounts!
Where he competes to showcase his best-
The catch- at bare minimum to make the ends meet
Tomorrow he might cause ruckus,
Day after- a havoc,
But it is today that he must act like a gentleman, or a sheep with a worth
Else, he might have to go back to his own abode-
To empty stomachs and eyes with disappointment.

Posted in Poem

As The Age Goes By

Victim of gadgets and networks
Funny, how we think of flowers, trees and birds chirping-
A foliage from mountains and waves from unknown seas drift right across the bittersweet memory lane
Days pass by-
A few with new learnings
A few with breath afresh
A few with just breaths.

Meaning or none; Feelings or some
Time- it doesn’t cease
From bud- to flower- to withered remnants all lost in blink of an eye
We try to heal from “wounds of actions”
Only to find ourselves etched with “scars of experience”
Creations once brimming with youth
Narrations now by voices forever tired
A medley of gallantry: no, I am not certain
A hum of survival: a lullaby before I say the final goodbye.

Posted in Poem

The Chronicles Of The City Called Delhi

Oh no! This isn’t a sight the artists would paint pretty
But the one the poets would run away from in search of peace
Yet the writers would love to stumble upon the chaos-
For the “rush” that inspires an early mid-life crisis or a moral turmoil once in a while.
I might speak otherwise, but the city- it has my heart;
Born here- you’ll never realise the difference
Travel a step or two: within this city you’ll come across abundant hues.
The roads here are always rushing
The streets crave for pin drop silence-
Alas! All they accomplish is pitch dark corners;
Harbouring a new crime or conning a judge for an event soon to be deemed “historic”.
History here once was a matter of gallantry and pride-
Memoirs of war heroes; battles- now merely “narrated scars”,
Monuments standing tall and wide; Crossroads named after idols who once had a future bright
But how come the present is dusted with a “phenomenon” called smog?
Is it a roof over head for those who are “forced” to sleep beneath the stars on the umpteen footpaths?
Men and women torturing each other inside homes, keeping themselves vocal
But no one to raise a voice against the unjust!
Oh yes! Communities for festivities and fancy parties
But in times of hardship are we all alone?
I might speak otherwise, but does the city have my heart?

Posted in Poem

Details

She was painting a picture,
Water blue, the sky lit white
Shore had yellow, mustard, a bit of brown
But how did the sea in her picture make that sound?
Bikini and sunglasses, readers and surfers
But why could he not un-see that  sundress fluttering and listen to that one girl thinking?
The bushes were green; flowers dotted pink, yellow and red
But why it was the wilted ones who talked beyond words?
The memories were clear, the picture being painted with a hint of quagmire
But why were the details from that one dialogue reading between the forbidden lines?

Posted in Article

Language: Decoding Beyond Words And Expressions

Artwork by Akash Patwal

Did a few words ever brought you close to someone? Did they make you feel understood enough to communicate your feelings one more time and then another till it finally became a common abode for the both of you? Do you remember mumbling those few words (most of which were mere sounds)  only your mother could make sense out of until you gradually learnt to form nonsensical sentences which were a cluster of random words? This was all happening in your mother tongue and slightly in English if you hail from an “educated” Indian family. As you grew up you still were struggling to pronounce your words right and absorbing more of those in your evolving memory so that you could communicate with clarity. With time, experience and adequate nutrition develops mind, physique and personality. This also leads to emotional and perceptive growth in turn enabling you to express your individual self as well as identification within a social group. Does language play an eminent role throughout? Remember entering teenage and creating your own jargon with a bunch of friends while the teacher emphasized on “minding your language”? Also, the schools made an attempt that you developed an extensive vocabulary and got the “English” grammar just right. We were told to speak in English, watch English movies and develop a habit of reading English books while the mother tongue was a havoc and led to “fine” or even deduction of a few marks/ credits here and there. Subconsciously, we were taught that English was a superior language. But what was determining this hierarchy? Who were the people influencing our mindset even with the presence of abundant diversity in the Indian heritage? Being a British colony did hit us hard but after that we had enough time to embrace our own culture! Yet we are awed by the Western lifestyle. The need for globalisation has made it necessary to share information via a mutual medium but that never meant for us to start demeaning our own regional ethnicity.

               The early men started communicating using gestures which were accompanied with the sounds they made. It was slowly and gradually that the words were formulated. Scripts and grammar were created much later. Languages continue to evolve even today especially its vernacular attributes. This was happening simultaneously all across the world amidst the primitive civilizations. Now the modern man can easily learn languages that belong to a different country while sitting at home itself. He can improve his skills by talking to the native speakers who volunteer online or wish to exchange knowledge about each other’s language. The media now is easier to access. It is appreciated to be multilingual. It opens up our mind and broadens are learning abilities further. It allows us to empathise with different cultures with regional literature as a powerful tool. But again, hierarchy and popularity of languages is extensively analyzed and understood before taking up a new one. Every time we visit a new place, especially the ethnographic researchers, the natives share more of their lives with us if we speak their tongue. This hints at the sudden sense of belonging that a mutual language generates. Also, have you ever grooved to the tunes of a song that wasn’t in a familiar language but still felt relatable? It shows that language is aided with expressions and emotions that need to be conveyed. A language may not be that easy to decipher and would require linguistic professionals, however it is an extremely powerful tool to share all those beautiful thoughts in our head using the innumerable precious words.

Posted in Poem

Things NOT To Do Out Of Boredom

Been stuck in a room; now for a while?
The windows are at a stand still,
The curtains flutter towards the familiar edges,
The walls- they wouldn’t move
The fan hums in an absurd harmony while the roof reeks of monotony-
Truth be told, the time has come
Try and take heed beyond that stubborn door.

Been trapped in a city full of lights; now feels like a lifetime?
The road is drenched with noise
The flicker of the red light glitters;
Yet it doesn’t  appease the one in your eyes
The sky is dawned with dusk
The pace now depraves the lust for the details-
Truth be heard, the time has come
Try and find peace in a lover’s arms.

Been loved like never before, now for an eternity?
The walk- the talk- the fears- the tears-
Lived through them all
The fun and games have been left behind
Curiosity now pays the debt of adapting;
The stories aren’t wicked anymore, Just crooked with yet another encore
Truth be felt, the time has come
Try and stop being a slave to your inner boredom.

-Ruchi Bhardwaj

Posted in Poem

The Last Few Calls

You came across these words
Glad, probably intrigued
Hence, here I assume you have a shelter to retreat
I know you can read;
I wish you understand.

The world has come to a standstill; even though for a brief timid while-
It had been all over the headlines
But there’s a mother in a village who knows not why-
The world is shutting down
While her’s isn’t even around.
What went wrong? Why was the voice trembling in those last few calls?
A wife cooks that humble delicacy now reduced to two or even one meal
She might not understand the written-
But deciphers the silent cries in those last few calls.
The little children roaming around had been asked to stay home
While their mother struggles to get their lessons right
They wish their father’s stories were a little more convincing over those last few calls.

-Ruchi Bhardwaj