Friday, June 22, 2007

ghazal impromptu

happiness comes to me   with the rain in Bangalore
tandava drums to me   with the rain in Bangalore

I arrived   intending to leave in a few days' time
juggle the sums for me   with the rain in Bangalore

I smoke a 2-rupee cheroot   in a 3-wheel auto
maya soft-numbs to me   with the rain in Bangalore

perchance my film   will at last emerge from gestation?
polish wry plums for me   with the rain in Bangalore

Ardeo went south amid summer   and toured Byramangala
handful of chums to me   with the rain in Bangalore

21 June postscript:
. . . and special happiness that (the morning after having dashed off the above poem in a little 15-rupee-per-hour upstairs internet cafe, a block from where I'm staying now in the Maleshwaram neighborhood), my little always-should-be-with-me pocket notebook (including train tickets) was still present & accounted for . . . I having absent-mindedly left said item after having typed out (here) the initial 3-4 lines from said volume. Jai sri raam . . .

tandava is the drum of Siva, or perhaps it's the name of what he plays on that drum; (scholars can sort this out) :-)

2-rupee cheroot: it's not easy to find a cigar in Bangalore. After many cigarless days, I opted for a Ganesh beedee. Another morning, I dutifully asked a shopkeeper if he had any cigars. No, he allowed. But his quiet assistant quietly handed him a long-lost-from-memory jar of ancient, folkstyle cigars (hence, "cheroot"), which he offered me for the noted reasonable price (equal to $0.12).

3-wheel auto: the ubiquitous mode of affordable taxi in India, in some regions called "auto" in others called "riksha" in yet others called "auto riksha". Akin to Bangkok's slightly more stylish tuk tuk. The auto riksha is a motoscooter with cabin, and can comfortably seat 2 or 3 (plus driver in front).


Megha said...

tandava, dear sir, is shiva's dance i think.

it's good to read this; i found it wasn't easy to keep the rhyme just before the refrain, and you've managed it even in this rather casual ghazal :)

it's quite delightful, this country, especially in parts it's kept more of itself alive!

David Raphael Israel said...

thanks Megha


Rajiv said...
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Rajiv said...
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Rajiv said...

"I smoke a 2-rupee cheroot in a 3-wheel auto
maya soft-numbs to me with the rain in Bangalore"

Its a beautiful image there.
In Sufiyana Ghazal "Sama" is that binds the self with the world in the sense loosing itself in the other.

Tandav as Megha says is the dance of Shiva, wit was scripted and performed by Ravana (the great villain of the epic Ramayana) himself.
To be held in thrall in the face of Divine is to become "Mast" and dance around the sacred fully drenched in its narcotic swoon.
In Islam they have a word for it, they call it "Deewana ".

The word Mast (self-intoxication) comes from Sanskrit, its used to express a ecstatic surrender to the beauty around us, or an infatuation with reality...not so much seizing the day as letting the day seize you." and Deewana (crazy) I think is a Persian or a Hindi words, not sure?
It could also be Armenian as in Sayat Nova poems, "Ari indz angach kal divana sirt" (Come, listen to me, mad heart). also appears in his poem "Khmetsoor dzerit tasemen" (Give me a drink from the cup of your hand).

David Raphael Israel said...

Nice to have your good notes, Rajiv. (While aware of the words Mast and Masti, I'd no idea they had Sanskritic origin.) And one keeps hearing new, interesting things about that rascal Ravana -- or at least I do (others being info about certain specific temples in So.India that mark places where various items fell away from him, during certain mythical doings . . . the details already a bit too blurred to relay the tale with right clarity). They also say the musical instrument with his name (bowed, precursor to the saranghi) is said to have been made with strings from his own guts . . . an arresting image.