Grandmother, tell me another story

Passing between lips, an ancestry reminiscent of
the chewed betel-nut grandmother transmitted
from recesses of her stained teeth onto palm of an
unlettered hand And again to my mouth.

Many years later I found myself teaching tradition
handed down by word of mouth. A cane basket we
put our socks in was stuffed with her stories.

It suddenly became a nest and
I flew with unknown birds, giddy and half asleep
seeking blankets of cloud in the maize field of the
mythical cat who sometimes ploughed the sky.



The cane basket disappeared when
a wooden cabinet took up residence
in our three-room house. Socks found a nest
and I began writing
the first few letters of the alphabet.

Myiem, where my ancestors prayed for their
deliverance from bitter winter,
where they wrestled with earth and stone
to script remembrances.

Today, lost and approaching fifty,
surrounded and imprisoned by books,
I sometimes murmur a prayer:
“Grandmother, tell me another story”



– I read this poem in the village of Nongriat, Meghalaya. These words took me back to my village of Ghazipur. The days when stories were an integral part of our life. Why did we stop telling stories?I could not find this poem online. I am looking for this book – Do let me know if you know this book. Thanks.

Of Trains & Tracks

I have always been fascinated by trains. The image of the red serpent rushing across the fields, in my village in Ghazipur, is still very much ingrained in my memories. I never quite understood what captured my interest more – The Train or The Track? While I explored the whereabouts of the track, chasing birds and rodents around, the train was the last thing on my mind. And when it did arrive, it was the only thing I cared about.

The blurred vision of the carriages rushing along, while I kept count of the number of cars attached to engine. I used to always lose count. Thinking about the same, I cannot help asking this question – Why did I count the number of cars? Why did this exercise still pops up in mind when I see a train?

I believe it has to do with the time and culture of our times. The internet had not shortened the world and there were so many things we knew so little about. Things to do were limited but interesting. It was the time when you didn’t lose interest in a toy after playing with it just once. We had few needs and fewer wants. Train ride was one of those interesting things I used to look forward to all the time. And getting through to the window seat was one of the featured ambitions.

I think the pure joy that I experienced in those train rides has become a part of me. This interest was coupled with another important aspect of our life – Mathematics. I used to count everything – it was one of my favorite past-time. Have you noticed the numerical codes that you sometime see on television. Whenever that used to flash on TV, my mind used to rush off to another tangent altogether – I would add all the digits and check if it is a multiple of 3. I believe it was just practicing the computational capability of the brain. Anyways, this also stuck in and before I realized, I was checking if the trains have number of cars which are a multiple of 3 or not.

So, this is the story. Try thinking back yourself. And see if one of your childhood activities has been hitchhiking along with you, all this time, in your subconscious.

The Bicycle

We lived in a usual 90s middle class colony. Colorful blocks arranged in a neat pattern around a park. It was like one of those monopoly boards. I was just learning to ride a bicycle then. My father used to help me mount and dismount the bicycle. The rest was taken care by me.

I used to take rounds of the park. The difficult part was the turn. Four of them in a lap. I used to go complete mental on the bell at the turns. Because God forbid if I had to apply the brakes, I would have come crashing down. After 30 minutes of peddling and executing the plan perfectly to avoid the brakes, I was helped to get down. And there ended a session of me practicing to ride the bicycle.

I was too short then to do all of it on my own. But that was not the only reason I was not learning. I was too scared to give it a try. Even when I did try, it was only when I knew there was someone who would hold me if I fall.

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WWE – The Fire Still Burns

The Fire Still Burns – That used to be my favorite line back in school days. Reason? See the following video.

I used to get goosebumps every time Kane’s entrance music was played. And the fireworks. That was a golden era of WWF I could do anything to get back. The fact that I used to think that it’s all for real spiced it up even more. Anyone who used to say that it was scripted was marked in the wrong side of my book. Monday 5 PM was the best time of the week. Undertaker was really a ghost. Austin seemed the most powerful. And I hated Triple H more than anything else.

Then I matured. College happened and everything changed. No more WWF (It became WWE then). Years passed by. And then on an idle day I stumbled upon this video.

Man it was like all your WWF memories were stuffed in 1 minute and put right in front of you. And YouTube has got this beautiful concept called “Related Videos”. And once you get into that maze it’s very difficult to come out of it. For the next few hours I kept browsing through these videos (most old and some new). Found out that this new faction called Shield is the latest talk of the town. I fucking hated them after going through few fights of theirs. I got stuck into the series and started following WWE again.

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The Lost Diary

Good morning everyone ! Sorry to break it to you but we are already two months down in the new year. It’s already March. But I don’t wish to complain. World T20 is here. And Team India is in terrific form. Hope they win World Cup on the top of the Micromax Asia Cup (or have I spoken too soon?)

An interesting thing happened today. I was digging up some of my old pics from my long lost Hard Disk and somehow landed in this particular folder. My Diary.one lay there in all its pride. I had almost forgot about it. This was one diary that I scribbled (not literally – just some keystrokes I meant) everything on during my engineering days. Funny that I should find it. I did remember that I kept it locked and password was one that no mortal could crack. No way I could get through that defence. But then I realize that it is already 1 in the night and I have nothing useful to do. Plus MS OneNote doesn’t lock you out for unsuccessful attempts (That is my good guess – Though I can bet for two attempts at least coz it cracked open the third time).

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