Author Archives: amitapaul

Insight Out of Sight

6/7/2020

Insight Out of Sight


Whom have I pleased the most ?
Those farthest from me except for those who know me not at all though I have made many such happy too , despite their not knowing me

Whom have I annoyed even hurt the most ?Those closest to me . Why would others bother ? Yet I may have hurt many I don’t know , them unknowing me personally , me unknowing or knowing only dimly in exactly how my being what I am doing what I do eating what I eat consuming what I consume by my class function for instance or my way of life

Which is the real me ?
Which the unreal ?
Is there a real me ?
Is there really a me at all , real or unreal ?
Or am I just my own perception of a tiny node of the Great Universe ?

Who’s to judge ? I myself ? Or other self appointed judges ? Or Church or State ? Or this uncertain entity called God or Soul or whatever ? And what is to be the consequence of such judging ? More of the same , or the opposite ?

Whom do I love that I hate so much ?
Whom do I hate that I love so much ?
And they , me ?

One may pause to reflect
But will it change things ?
Can these things qua things actually be changed at all ever by one person ?
By one person’s thoughts ?
By a thought ?
Some think so
Others disagree

For life must go on
Or at least time will pass
The world will go by
Or come to an end
Inexorably

Exactly what is it that we really can control , if not our own thoughts ?
Not even emotions
Not even action
Perhaps not even thoughts
For
From where do thoughts arise ?

Think about it
Or not
It’s up to you
It’s up to me
Or is it ?

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

Friends,Today

FRIENDS, TODAY

Are you indeed my friend ?
Let us for some time believe so
Or for convenience

I have forgotten what friendship means
Perhaps someone can remind me
Perhaps not

I have been to long in the world to believe in love
And also too long not to

I know too much about how people use other people
Or one another

It’s just another word one uses
Let it be
We shall see

So how are you today ?
And what can we talk about ?

I could tell you about how I made yogurt
Or how two young people eloped
And got married today
Yes ,really
It’s quite inconvenient , but there it is

It may not matter to you
How does it matter to me either ?

But it passes the time

Perhaps it’s time for tea
Already
Shall we ?

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

Islands

27/6/2020

ISLANDS

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ISLAND PHILOSOPHY

I’m done , Donne
Today , everyone of us
Is an Island

All islands are
At bottom , one continent
Oceans divide

TROPICAL ISLANDS

We shall see how
She sells sea shells
In Seychelles

So vibrant
It could win an Oscar
Madagascar

If denied
A visit , I turn vicious
To Mauritius

I never saw
Sea lovelier than
Off Seychelles

Clove scented
Breeze from the Island
Of Zanzibar

Unguja, Pemba
Beautiful Spice Islands
Of Zanzibar


ISLAND LOVE

Island of Gold
In the Ramayana
Sri Lanka

Across the Straits
Siṃhaladvīpaḥ
Lion Island

Mummudi Crowned
Cholamandala
Island of Cholas

Eelam the Home
Tambapanni Island
Copper Red Earth

Sarandīb it is
The finding of an Island
Serendipity


ISLAND FOOD

Rhode Island Red
I love both the fowl
And rosy egg

Sea of Custard
Islands of Meringue
Snow Eggs


Reuben Sandwich
Thousand Island Dressing
So New York

Creamy milk

From calm Jersey Cows
Island gift

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      Amita San Sakura 

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Closed

The doors I knocked at and I got no answer
The doors of your acceptance and compassion
The outer gates of mere acknowledgement
These doors
These gates
One day
Will burn down to the ground
The ashes of our cremated bodies
Will meet somewhere
In the waters of the deep oceans
When neither you nor I can speak
The gift of life
Wasted on indifference
Lost amid false pride
And a hollow feeling of affront
By my very existence
Where has love gone
Those tears that once were prized like pearls
That tender voice
A warmth
In the iron freeze
Of an alien world
Found
And lost again
Forever

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

Homes

Is that why human beings build houses
Or rent them ?
Is it really to place boundaries
Walls
Around their pains and sorrows
To hide them
From mockery
From other creatures
Who may mock only to hide their own agony that way ?
And to place a cap on the misery –
To stop the rain from augmenting their tears
The sun from inflaming their aching even more ?
Is that why there are shutters and curtains on doors and windows ?
Do we like crabs build shells to protect our soft pink and grey vulnerabilities
And then get trapped in the hard calcinated coverings
And die of their suffocating limitation ?
Or do we not want our sorrows to escape
And leave us
Like empty nothings
Like the colourless vacuums that we really are ?
What do human beings keep avoiding
To gain what else ?
They say Life
Is only a temporary shelter
A world of asbestos barracks
And that Paradise
Is a roofless garden
But still
A walled one
A Para Daiza

Where is my Pari Darwaza ?
Where then should my dreams live ?
And where shall I keep these hopes of mine ?
Or like Love
Are these too only other disguises
Only of pain
Only of sorrow ?

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

Identity

Here is Amita typing a poem on her mobile

The calling of the Name
The Sir , the Madam
Your Honour , Your Lorship
Mama , Papa
Darling , Sweetheart
Honey , Sugar
The Likes , the Hearts
Approvals , Acknowledgments
Recognitions , Titles
Your Name on a Poem
A Book , a house
A Plane or Railway ticket

Slowly, Life tricks you into Identity
I , Me , Ego , Self

It’s a very warm afternoon in June in Patna

You get used to it
My body my mind
My personality
You identify with it all

And then the taking away
Of looks loved ones
Those who called you by name
The strength of the body
The rigour of the mind
Disintegrating
Sight Sound Comprehension
Gone

It’s so hot . I’m not perspiring .

And then one day
Death deals the final blow

The Self disintegrates much much faster
Than it took to build itself up
Sometimes at a single stroke
What’s left , then ?

You try to say
A Higher Self

The curtains are drawn against the heat ; the ceiling fan whirrs

But it’s not true
The Infinite Everlasting Power
Of Creation , Nurturing and Destruction
Is not a Self of any sort
But the end of Self

What a blow to Ego !
What a thorough deconstruction
Of the formal or essential Self !

Weep if you can
If you can , you’re fortunate
Most Fortunate among the Stones
Dead Stones that cannot weep

I need Mangoes . I must buy Mangoes .
And a Watermelon

Let me begin, here and now
To unravel myself
By detaching at least the most detachable parts of self
To start with

When it comes to the core
It will be more difficult , perhaps ,
But who knows ?
Let the de – selfing begin

“What did your face look like before your parents were born ?”

What is left of existence when there is no identity ?

It’s the essence of what we wish to know

Here is Amita posting her poem on the Internet

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

The House of Waiting

It’s all dust and old newspapers and books and notebooks
Big folio registers and diaries and files
And outdoor clothes gathering dust in heaps
Never disturbed in years now
Boxes made of steel sheets
In all shapes and sizes full of old issues of magazines
Bedspreads and blankets and quilts no longer in use
It’s not a dead house but a dying one
There are smells lurking in its corners
Some dank some sunshiney full of motes
In the air caught in beams of light
From the wide old windows
It’s a shabby tired house , much suited
To slow decay , but proliferating in Calendars
Showing this month this day today
And clocks showing this hour this minute
With a little variation from the bedroom to the kitchen
From the hall to the prayer room
Food is cooked though , mostly fresh
And there is water and tea and curd and fruit
And sherbets . It waits cheerfully enough
For death and the final disintegration
It may look sad but it is not afraid .
There are flowerless flowerpots by the front door .
Few visit but those who do , do not starve
They go with bellies full .
The House of Waiting is absent- mindedly
Sprawlingly , lazily , impersonally kind .

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

Lace and Mango Pickle

I walk about
With my vulnerability
Barely covered in tentative dresses
The tremble of thick and soft but firm pink lips
Inviting remark upon its contrast
With the somewhat exaggerated horn rims
Of my all but cosmetic glasses

Perhaps you would hand me a glass of still water
At room temperature , and a cherry or a plum
I have reluctantly said no to lavender
But a pale , very pale , saffron may just about disturb the universe
To the very tiny extent that I want it to shift
To make room for my voice of sweet reasonableness
And endearing whimsy
Before it gets comfortable again
Pleased with me for making it ever so comfortably uncomfortable
That it will invite me again and again
To beautiful silky places
With delicately delicious food
And scented listeners
I must to Bruges next
For the lace
Where I shall ever so outrageously
Mention Mango pickle
In turmeric and mustard oil
Redolent of asofeotida

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia )

Home

HOME

For the Snow , Fuji
For the Bird , the Cherry Tree
For the Heart , Budhha

A Nest on the Mast
Of a Ship on Ocean
Is Home for the Crow

Curtains aflutter
Kettle bubbling , smells of food
And washing . Home

Where my food is hot
Where bed is warm and soft
Why , that’s where home i

Where there is Peace
And Quiet Rest and Nurture
That is where Home is

Where Thou art Peace is
Where Thou art there is Love
My Haven- Home

Like nesting birds
Where thoughts return to , always ,
Is heart’s home

( AMITA SARJIT AHLUWALIA )