Friday, February 13, 2004

The Artist and his Muse

Read recently about
a well known American artist
and his obsession with
a model for 15 years.
He had made some 200 odd
drawings/sketches/portraits
of this one single woman,
shown standing, sleeping,
pensive, in the nude, brooding,
staring, sitting etc., etc.,

What kind of an artist is he?
Ha, no imagination at all, I dismissed
him, arrogantly. And the sketches
drew no more
look from me than of the
of the lecherous kind.

But later, being bedridden
for a couple of days due
to a leg problem, I went through
the book again. Out of
idle curiosity. Wondering, what
was in this one woman that the artist
could shut out every other woman
from his vision.

For 15 years.

She looked plain Jane, sharp featured.
But as I kept seeing the sketches,
I felt she was not the same
in any two drawings.
Every one of them seemed
the same, yet, different.
And I started to look
at her with fascination.
She did look ordinary,
but extraordinary, too.

I knew, the artist would
have been honest and would
not have bestowed on her
any more vitality than
what she possessed. If he did, he
wouldn’t have been the
great artist he was.

So, what he had captured
in essence, was her inner glow.
The woman no longer looked
to me,
like I’ve-seen-one-sketch-of-her-
and-I’ve-seen-her-all.

I was glad that maybe I do
have something as an
artist streak going for me, as
she started seeming
half as alluring to
me as she did to him.

Now, if only, I could get
a willing model…

On a serious note, though,
someone had once said,
a woman needs to know
just one man and she’ll know all
Men. Whereas , a man might know many
women, but will never
understand a single Woman.

This artist could be the only
exception to that.

I salute to him.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Why My Woman don't grow no beard

Lazy Sunday morning.
Watching my woman staring at herself
intently on the mirror, with tweezers,
searching for that
nascent one culprit of a minute
hair on her chin,
I am confused.

For I too had stood before
the same mirror,
sometime ago,
and was depressed because,
one single hair from my
scalp was found on the comb.
One. Not two or twenty.
Suddenly, I felt so aged and insecure.

But why should my woman
pull out that one teeny-weeny
hair from her cute
chin, as though it
was a blemish on her
otherwise good looking face?

The question was of a single hair.

But both of us viewed it differently.
I was worried that it was
disappearing, and she, for the opposite.

So I ask her why ?

“Why, you think I
would look good to you
if I grew it ?” she asks seriously.

She was
viewing her, herself,
as I would look at her.

Whereas, I looked at
myself, as someone else
would look at me.

Honestly, I was worried I might
become less appealing to
women,, if I had a
bald pate (was I ever more ? I
like to fancy myself I was ).

Whereas, my woman wanted
to please only me.


Who ever said women were vain creatures,
couldn’t have been more wronger.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I needn't Worry

Had a rather disconcerting
dream last Sunday night.

In the dream, it seems, I had gone
to a Doc for my aching
legs (I had climbed a hill
that day) and as any Indian
Doc would, he took my
weight, height, ECG,
pulse, piss + blood sample
and yes, my purse,
and tells me
that I have only 2 years to live.
Of course, my legs he forgot
to treat.

That’s when I got up sweating
from the nightmare. I checked
and found my purse and
the pain undiminished…

Later during the week,
I got thinking.
What if it were true?
Would I feel bad ?
Would I feel sad ?

Perhaps. So many
unread books, so many
untravelled places.
So many people
I havn’t met.
So many people
I havn’t hurt.
So many people
I havn’t driven up the wall.
So many blogs I havn’t
scribbled.

If it were true,
can I do all the above in two years?
What about my near and dear ones?
Would they miss me more than
I would miss them ?

What would I do with my
book collection?
Who will dust, clean,
annotate and add to them?

Frankly, I felt I didn’t
fear death. I feared more for
things I was leaving
behind. Like the only dog-eared
book of my great- grandfather
that has survived.
There is no photo of him,
no trace of anything else
he left behind.
Except his faded
comments, criticisms, by the margin.
I probably treasure this book more,
than if his entire fabled
library were intact today.

There in I found the
answer .

Fragments of memory
are more precious.

Than an entire life in a CD.

Monday, February 02, 2004

The Epitaph

There was this guy
who finally got sick of
his writing (his poor, suffering
readers had got sick ages ago).

So he decided to kill the
writer in himself.
Not surprising , because the
bad writers always kill themselves, while
the smart ones are busy counting
their royalties.

Having decided,
he wondered, how ?
Since he had never showed
any originality in his
writing, he felt, he should be original
at least in killing himself.

Gas him self? Nah, Sylvia Plath
had put her head into it.

Disembowel himself? Yukio
Mishima had committed hara-kiri already.

Blow his brains ? Sadly, Hemingway
already, albeit famously, did.

Poison himself ? Arthur Koestler
and his wife already had drunk that.

Jump of the bridge?
John Berryman had taken the leap.

So our poor guy got disgusted.
Wasn’t there a novel way
to kill himself?

He wondered.

Thinking hard,
finally, he gets the one
and only original brainwave
in his brief literary life.

Why not hang from a bridge?
Nobody known had done that.

Our friend felt very happy,
that in death at least he
would stand out. Or hang out.

Whatever.

So there he was preparing
for this momentous act,
when his writing peers
passed by and caught sight of him
in his heinous act.

“Hey, Look,” one of them shouted
and our friend looked startled
and stopped in his stepping-of
the-bridge-with-the-noose-
around-his-neck act.

“Hey, he is trying to kill himself,”
the discoverer exclaimed.
“You know,” chirped another friend,
“He’s a Saggi. Only they
are capable of
such grandiose foolish acts.”

“No,” intervened another knowledgeable,
“I think Taureans are more
flashy in such acts.”

Now, the crowd really got
into the act of arguing
about which sun signs are
more prone to commit
spectacular suicides.

Slowly, they walked away from
our unfortunate, and wound up
at a nearby pub, to discuss the
issue more seriously,
in more amiable environs.

Our poor sap, who had momentarily
felt that his life was afterall, worth living,
after seeing and hearing all
his friends around him,
fell into despondency again
as he saw the
last of his friends
back vanishing into the
warm, inviting and well lit pub.

So he decided to go ahead
with his interrupted
act, before someone
else comes and makes him
again wishy washy.

So he took the step into the empty.

The crowd in the meanwhile,
after a lot of rounds of
intelligent, sensitive,
and forceful arguments,
.finally agreed that everyone was right (because
everybody was so intelligent,
nobody could be wrong).

Suddenly someone asked.
“Hey ! Where the hell
is our poor friend ?”

They looked around, and
didn’t find him. They had
expected him to be sipping
his stuff silently in a dark
corner, alone, as usual.

“Don’t worry about him,” the clown
of the group chortled, “He must be
hanging around
somewhere.”

As usual,
he was dead right.