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Friday, 14 October 2011

An ‘Unfriend’-ly Proposal


Call it delayed reaction or plain old laziness of finer powers to ponder, it is only lately that I spared a thought to the ‘Unfriend’  option on my page in Facebook.  Not being  very e-savvy and hence , rather shy of  exploring the ‘options’ in the digital world , I never used this button till I hit it accidently and what triggered off can only be described as cascading collapse of camaraderie between my  (un)friend  and my very -sorry self. That the friend did not regard this (col)lapse in a friendly light , goes without saying.

A cliché –overused as they are, came to mind-  A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Can one add-
Till with a click,
You bid them god speed,
In carelessness or with ill- intent,
From your Facebook content,
I wish to see you no more..
You have decreed!

And where does this non-person, this non –entity whose existence you have decided to obliterate from your friendly universe go? Is there a place where ‘no friends have gone before’. A black  hole? A point of no  return?

Perhaps there is a  point in getting philosophical over this. Nobody stands   immune from this exile, this fall from grace and friends are too precious to be dealt with as clinically as this. I can honestly confess that faced with such unfriendliness, I would be heartbroken.
Is there a re-friend button too on Facebook ? Or does one go back all the way shamefacedly sending a request to make amends with the friend -turned –foe or worse still a stranger who regards you with coldness ?

What do you think about the ‘unfriend’ option ? Have you used it to regret it later? Have you felt the sting yourself?

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A Toast to Tea

One of the first lessons I learnt during bouts of addictive reading was that a cup of hot brew was essential to appreciate the flavor of the book- whether Gothic romance , Sartre or Sharatchandra.
Tea was forbidden when I was growing up-the only brew we were ‘administered’ was the cure for all ills and a  palette’s nightmare- The  karha-guaranteed to drive the cold out of your head and every rational thought too -it flowed like lava down the throat and the fiery peppers in it made an active volcano out of your stomach .

Tea , defamed to be in the same league by scheming adults ,I  wouldn’t have touched with a bargepole.
Much  later, living in the foothills of Darjeeling  I was initiated to Tea under  circumstances beyond my control . An inveterate coffee addict till now, I found myself in the select coterie of tea-lovers talking about their Nilgiris, EarlGreys Temis , Lopchu and what have you with  the dreamy  reverence  I have seen only in the eyes of priests  when speaking about the gospel. Pressed ever so sweetly and stealthily by the hostess (and the absence of coffee) and shuddering at the anticipation  remembered from childhood days, I took that first sip. But Wait! Was this the gall that I had been driven away from? The outlawed   drink? It teased the taste buds, an unfamiliar taste-but a strange endearing aroma  that started to haunt me …

So just as you grow to like olives and dal and new people, I grew to like tea. I think it is a sign of true
maturity when you accept new things and don’t reject foods or ideas or even people outright even when they don’t fit your definitions which have started  losing their bite and fences as a matter of course.

What are your preferences and perspective about tea? s Want to share them  on this blog? Leave  a comment here. 

Thursday, 6 October 2011

How to Read a Poem

Hello there .. all those who love to read and to write-and write about that too. Well , this is what this blog is about.

I am reading How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch these days and his superb style and amazing collection of emblematic poems spruced up with little lovable anecdotes make it a mellow read  for both- the  casual  reader and the connoisseur. Hirsch advises the reader to read the book by  the light of a bedside lamp- well it does acquire strange  alchemical properties then which absolutely mesmerise and hold you to the book by an unseen ball and chain. Poetry is like that.

It also  made me think that poetry is about human-sized feelings and understandings that defy boxed-in  definitions of perspective and  interpretation.

Amongst my favourites is  Wallace Stevens'"The Man with the Blue Guitar"

The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are 
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

And they said then, "But play, you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are."

I think poetry is just that- seeing things as they are.And the wonderful thing is that there need not be just one way to see these. You are free to use 
your own imagination and lense to view it.