The Flying Man

It is said that books and people find their way into your lives. A mere meeting or a cursory glance at a blurb might not amount to much, if it is not meant to be. How else could I explain being swept off my feet by Roopa Farooki’s Flying Man? I received the book as a birthday present almost three years ago and never managed to get past the blurb. And here I was, maniacally reading through day and night, finishing it in two days!

The protagonist is very unusual, in that he is a very ordinary man and yet, much larger than life than you and I could ever imagine. It is a story that is as mundane as Life can be and every bit as extraordinary.

“It has always mattered to me, that once upon a time, a long time ago, He loved Her, and that She loved Him back.”

That is the only thing that probably mattered to Maqil, the despicable man who is also the Hero of the story. Just like the ones in his life, the reader also goes through moments of extreme hate, love and helplessness in response to his actions. Strangely enough, you don’t feel anger towards Maqil, no. That’s just who he is. He is just compelled to live life in his head, where he is always larger than life, where it is always eternal sunshine. All dreams have to come to an end, however and in a very unusual fashion, Maqil’s disappointments with reality are yours, too. I guess we all have a Maqil, a Mikhail , a Mike : hiding within the labyrinths of our soul.

I also found the unravelling of his daughter’s character very interesting : she inherits his coldness of character without the flightiness.

The writing provides literary references without any presumptuousness, almost carelessly. The humour is sardonic and witty. One is reminded often of Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’ : certain imagery, certain words. Reading the book is like being on a roller coaster ride, tossed mercilessly on the oceans of feeling. Yet, like Maqil, like Life, it is predictable : you do know you are on the ride, after all.

This is a book written like poetry, about a mundane life made extraordinary. It is a performance, like everything else we do in life.

A brilliant performance.

“I’m a child in the womb, once more, buried in ink and blood, waiting to see if there might be darkness, or light, on the other side. Black or Red. I’ve waited too long for this; this time, I’ll take a chance.”

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Endless.. (Blogathon Post Twenty Six)

The moon is up
the stars peep out
Like a watchful mother,
Over her child…
Your impressions take wing,
gone astray,
scattered about,
meaningless and forgotten.
As the darkness beckons
You forget yourself
As I will too,someday..
But you continue to linger
In my deluded silence
my crankiness,
my disgust
my ecstasy and my pride..
all my joys and my discovery
Of the sweetest vow.
For you are like a piece of dust
the stray twig
the forgotten leaf
that stays on long after
I have said goodbye.
Your words are not new
nor profound,
Just a murmuring
Of a life that
might not be for long.

When does the river sleep? (Blogathon Post Eighteen)

When does the river sleep?
In the deep darkness of the night
You can hear her tinkling laughter.
And when the dawn unfolds
Her laughter is still reverberant;
Does she have an earnest longing
Is she overwhelmed by thoughts
Of one she hugs close to her soul
Such that she cannot sleep?
Does he dance in her manouevres
Does he sing tales to her
In ballads wistful and compelling?
Sans respite she listens and pours
Herself out in a mystifying torrent
Such that she cannot sleep?
Does she see his face ethereal
when he looks into her waters..
And finding him within herself
Her ecstasy knows no bounds
Such that she cannot sleep?
And when she changes hue
And form and her crystal smile
Does he run along the shore with her
Such that she cannot sleep?
And when he puts his casket
Of fragrant flowers into her hands
Is she earnest to please him so
Such that she cannot sleep?
And when he puts his feet
Does it tickle her gentle hands
such that she cannot sleep?
And when she stops for a rest
Time for a sigh,at the base of a tree
Do his ballads haunt her every second
Such that she cannot sleep?
When she sees,in a moment of despair
the ocean beckoning,not far away-
Does the ache of not seeing him
Ravage and destroy her innermost core
Such that she cannot sleep?

The reluctant mother.. (Blogathon Post Twelve)

For Mother’s day!

A young woman
fresh like a new bloom
With the dreams of a thousand lifetimes
Dancing quietly in her eyes..
A visit by a sage
And a boon thus granted;
She held the boon
in her heart
Till it grew heavy and
began to pull her soul down,
Like a secret not to be told.
She yearned to see,
If the boon would work,
If the sage was right,
If dreams could come true.
A slight nonchalance
A sceptic denial
In all folly of youth..
And lo!
Bear she would,
The glory of the Sun.
Even if it burned.
And so she lived-
To see her baby
A hero obscure,
unsung and lowly..
Unable to call him her own-
Her heart was now heavier.

Love!


On gray clouds
lie my thoughts, written in crayon;
Wax and colour, on cotton paper.

Pink and blue
run my dreams, trembling kites
against the dewy breeze.

My feet fly
my soul leaps, the world’s mine
I am all girl.

Raindrops and snow
sun and dew, give me
ephemeral hugs of love.

I cannot die
for eyes as exuberant as mine
Cannot but see and see.

The Dying Flame


Oh, that’s just the breeze,
they told me-
When I flickered in fear
at all the leaves around;
He can do nothing to you,
they continued
As my flames danced
Sorrowfully to a stranger’s tune;

That’s just a lamp,
they told me-
it can do nothing to
who you are, the eternal;
Even as borrowed oil
fed me yesterday’s dreams
Soot-soiled, I was but a
doppelganger to what was true.

They laughed at me
When I cried, my tears were lost
like dewdrops in a desert
Or the music in a soul;
They said it was all nothing,
Nothing to worry about-
Indeed nothing at all, my flame is gone-
Nor will I cry any more.

I dream of death tonight…

Flashes of the past
Memories adhering to my soul
like dog hair on the carpet;
Tormented by visions
and unfinished dreams;
Fear that grips to the soul
Sanguine tears of salty hugs.
thoughts unleashed, leaping
across territory once carefully guarded.
I have lost control now.
They trample, they hurt, they injure.
Feelings that do not belong to me
are being forced upon my being
layered upon years of guilt and shame.
I throb for something deep within you
And I do not know what that it.
Your thoughts, your sadness
live within me now. And I am trapped
to death, in a bubble built on your regret.
I dream of death tonight,
To start living a life
That I can call my own.

Toi et moi

On a hot summer day,
I wrote your name with mine
On the sands of possibility.
I was in love-
with the trees, the ocean
and that timeless state of joy.
After that came the rains.
Every shower whispered your name.
I pretended not to hear
and romanced with the puddles.
As flowers shriveled in the cold,
I was numb to your touch, my love
Winter’s kiss made me forget.
Yet, spring was on its way
at the bazaar, our eyes met.
The tune of our life had been set
In stone, a long time ago.
Amidst the melee and the dust
Our story is reborn.