25 July 2009

Cantar-me uma canção..

It means "sing me a song " in Portuguese.

A Famosa is an old Portuguese fort. Today it is just a tourist attraction. Nothing more than four walls of stone.

Inside they played , old kappirinna songs. It was haunting......

Marley's face on the guitar added another dimension.

Through the narrow streets of .....Malacca

He spoke about , the mouse-deer fighting back the hunt dogs of a sultan. And of the Sultan's rule and his palace up in flames .

Of merchants lined up in the market place by the receding shore while the waves clutched at their feet in an attempt to send them back to where they came from , along with the very ground they stood. Yet there they were, with their spices , silk, rubies, gold , silver and copper. All to be traded before they return to Arabia, India, Siam ,China wherever they came from. They were merchants, who ruled the seas , who made rulers . The kingmakers, they were..

He spoke of empires , whose war ships sailed catching the whiff of cinnamon , cardamom and cloves. To new lands.

Of the muslim traders who covered their scorching desert lives with a tropical lush veil , got caught up in paradise and stayed back,

Of a princess from China who came to wed a King, with 500 men who never left, and a wedding carriage drawn by 10 elephants.

Of slaves caged within the hull of the ship and a lonely priest kissing the cross after murmuring a prayer , not seated far from them. Both awaiting the ship to hit the shore, for their fates to be decided. One to be sold to a new master and the other to serve the old one at a new location.

Of ,the Portuguese , the Dutch and the East Asia trading company who traded countries much the same way they traded every thing else. Who would disembarked, marched inland built citadels and churches, then claim the land their own. Not much changes.

As all oceans flow one in to the other, all incidents gets mixed up in history. And creates an interesting mix of remnants , in places like Melaka they remain, much like the sea bed.

All this came up in a 45 minute , rickshaw ride.

The Rickshaws..

A Famosa

20 July 2009

We are , only what we remember

The early light is filtered to a green tint through 3 glass rectangles lining the dark wood windows in the room. I could hear the cutlery clunk in the garden café below. And could almost smell the brewing anticipation.

Today I plan to walk the narrow streets . Peep in to peoples’ homes. Lives. Sit by the river and drift away .

Try to teach a little girl how to enjoy travel.

Because we are only what we remember , nothing more . All we have is the memory of what we have done or not done . Whom we have touched , who have touched us even for a moment . (So says Romesh in the reef)

39000 feet above

39000 feet above the mountain tops and the vallies.

Travel bug bitten .

Yet ... Not going to Colombo.......

They are few seats in front of me. The old chinese lady beside me is fast asleep. Her two daughters peep in from time to time to check on how she is doing.

Blue sky . Cotton clouds. And a lonely ship stranded in the wide ocean.

I just look out and start to drift. What are they doing ? I start to miss them. Can it happen? During a two hour plane trip.

I remember somebody telling me time is nothing but a concept .

It is strange, that whenever I get on a plane, I get a longing to go to Colombo. listen to Amardeva sing through the headphones and see the palm trees and shore, when the iron bird tilts its wings and turn inland from the east coast, somewhere near Trincomalie. That familiar led ball of a feeling that sinks right in. Hmmm.

chinese light

11 July 2009

lonely church

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To write a poem

you got'ta have paper
clean and crisp is fine
but furrowed ones are better
speaking back to you
with suggestions
in quite poetic lingo

Got to have ink on the nib to scrawl
the same shapes that waft through your mind.


most often the predicament
let not that vex you
life …….will happen
even in the most private nook
and present one with

But , where is the time?

PS: Ironically this was scribbled in 20 mins in a 20 min train ride.

09 July 2009

Between a yawn and the sea....

Like a long comatose yawn, it was stretching from this side of the road to the shore. Starting slender, bulging in the middle , allowing the stream to have a slow tango with the waves that have lost their way on the sand, and then continuing to the sea in it's slender form .

In the water there they were , ankle deep, bent, their faces almost touching surface. Two boys and a girl. Scanning the water for one more fish. New brood of fry hatched in brackish water, escaping to the ocean , where they will grow , mate and die.

Catching them in their cupped bare palms and collecting them in their pails.

"Look look , fish" they were showing off.

They were just collecting them in their plastic buckets, not having the slightest of clue what to do with them. Like most of us, collecting just for the sake of collecting, ( many a things; money, friends , enemies, cravings, needs) they were too.