When the night is lonely
The music sweet…and of a time when we were together
Into the past
Those long telephone conversations
Where even the long silences were so so fulfilling.
When that uncontrollable laughter used to get at us.
The little barbs that we made at each other which amused us equally.
When the possessiveness for each other got funny.
A Tear forms slowly
Ever so slowly
At the corner of my eye
And rolls down my cheek.
And I pray to God
If that means
That what I remember so vividly
You do no remember at all.
Oh, my dream!
I still dream of you
Of what it would have been like
To have you by my side eternally.
Not that I am unhappy in my present
But still, I do wonder
What it would have been
To have such exquisite beauty in my life
It didn’t happen
Wasn’t our destiny
We went our separate ways
And today – are as apart as two people can be
With our own separate joys, sorrows and dreams
And yet I still dream of you,
My unattainable beauty.
Sometimes in the night.
Sometimes in the day.
I am not plain, you protested.
And the words remained with me.
The songs I played, the music I heard
The voices, the notes, the verses were all you
– echo of your voice
– facets of your being
And I had this overwhelming desire
To put pen to paper
And sketch you
To immortalize you
I drew the locks…the curls that you so harshly tie up at work.
I drew the smile which illuminates your face.
I drew the willowy tall frames.
But that is as far as I got
The words seeming so facetious.
I was disappointed
And wondered why I can’t play with words any longer.
And then the realizations dawned
And I smiled to myself
Because I remember
Am a silent lover.
A lover of silence.
The Round House – Louise Erdrich
Not often you read stories set on Indian reservations. The Round House is a saga of rape, exploitation and bravery – not an unfamiliar territory for native Indians on the reservations. A disgruntled white man connected to a powerful politician carries out a killing to hide the evidence of his own misdeeds and then compounds the crime by raping an eyewitness – and both the victims are Indian women. The story, told by the second victim’s son, is essentially an unraveling of the mystery of what actually transpired. The plot by itself isn’t exceptional but is told well. The setting is unique – the modern day life on Indian reservations is captured really well. However, what stands out is the voice of the narrator. A genuine teenaged voice, reminiscent of Salinger. The POV is strong, stark and deeply endearing.
You knock on my door
And tell me to follow you
It’s time, you say
Time to leave
I realize I need a few moments more
I want to see her at least once
To touch her and feel if she is real
I need to hear her laughter once more, see her smile light up the room once more.
I need to take her small hand in mine when she is sleeping…and thank God once more
I need to kiss my girl on the corner of her lips once more, to lie snug with her once more
I need to see how the tulip bulbs I planted in the fall come out this spring
And if the leaves of the trees will be prettier this fall
I need to visit countries, continents.
I need to see all this world has got to show me.
Oh, there is so much I need to do!
Can’t we wait a bit?
Come, let’s wait a bit.
A few moments more.
A few days more.
A few months more.
A few years more.
The sound of raindrops on my roof reminds me of you
The sound of raindrops on my roof is not like the sound of your voice – clear and sweet
The sound of raindrops on my roof is not like the sound of your fleeting footsteps through the corridor
The sound of raindrops on my roof is not like the sound of your infectious laughter that I’ve grown so used to.
The sound of raindrops on my roof reminds me of you.
The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
The Booker Award winner for 2013 – which made Catton the youngest ever writer to win a Booker. So what’s The Luminaries all about? What makes it special? At the heart of it, the novel is a mystery. However a mystery woven with such magic and spun into an entangled web so beautifully that the eight hundred plus pages just turn themselves. It is 1866 in New Zealand. Hokitika is the latest gold rush town. After a few strange happenings in the town, twelve men gather to discuss. Each of them has a part of the puzzle. And then the story takes off, the incidents get more and more bizarre and the mystery deeper and murkier. Catton does a great job in engaging the reader, challenging her to speculate, guess, get perplexed but continue reading. The pace is good and the interest consistent. When all is revealed at the end, in a few quick chapters on actual sequence of event, and it turns out to be a fairly simple story – you realize the masterfulness of the writer in managing to engage you for so long. So what does Catton excel in – what got her the Booker. I don’t think it’s capturing the 19th century New Zealand (though she does a decent job doing that) or that the story is extraordinary. For me, it is the way she spins the yarn and the characterizations. She digs deep into each character (and the hook has a dozen and a half of them). Each of the characters is presented in such subtle detail that he or she comes to life – distinguished and polished. Sample this: “For Gascoigne was extraordinarily moody. The wave of compassion that had compelled him to lie on Anna’s behalf dissipated almost as soon as the whore was freed: it darkened to despair that his help might, after all, have been a vain one – misplaced, wrong, and worst of all, self serving. Selfishness was Gascoigne’s deepest fear. He loathed all signs of it in himself, quite as a competitive man loathes all traces of weakness that might keep him from his selfish goal. This was a feature of his personality of which he was extraordinarily proud, however, and about which he loved to moralize. Whenever the irrationality of all this became too evident to ignore, he would fall into a very selfish bout of irritation.” See the fine etching of the character there. And he is not even the primary character. The end is a little disappointing, a couple of sequences appear too convenient and not all is explained. Don’t know if the book deserved a Booker or not but it’s a compelling read. Enjoy the journey.
Recommendation: Must read.