poetry

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when you are talking to yourself
in a train, peak hours
later in a hustling local bar, happy hours
and finally a real conversation
with your cat-mouse chasing feet
till you hit your bed
that’s poetry

Eclipse

eclipse

He’s right there.
But they won’t let you.

Maria

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It must have been around 10 p.m. Goa streets were buzzing with locals and tourists and locals with tourists. Everyone was with someone and I was. I picked up half of rum and 3 pints and trotted back to my room.

My room was a small walk from the main street, in a cottage right at the end of a thin quiet lane. The owners, a couple, John and Maria rented out their guest room for cheap, I had booked myself for a month. To write. The room had a separate entrance from behind the cottage. In it a bed, writing-table, a window, attached marble tiled washroom, no mirror.

A decent couple. They din’t bother much but their dog insistently barked when he heard me open the gates until I had reached my room and shut the door behind. The couple would know I am back. When I left my room and walked out the gates, the couple would know. Damn dog.

In the morning, John or Maria would leave a pot of tea outside the door and once in a while Maria would send across food, she cooked. Nice lady, she cooked well. Stout and active, she worked round the day running errands and her two young daughters. John was short and petite, looked quite older than Maria. He lazed on his hammock with his fenny bottle but he took good care of the trees that held him all day.

I made myself a drink and spread across on the bed. I could hear the wind dashing against the tree leaves outside, making a fluttering sound and then it would stop and the flutter would return as if the wind was moving in circles.
I heard the door knock. Maria was standing at the door and she reeked of booze.

“You need anything?” Her droopy eyes checked me out from head to moccasins.
“No”
“Can you spare me a drink? John is out with his friends and I am having trouble sleeping”

She walked in. She owned the place. I poured her a drink while she looked at my open luggage.

“So, are you really a writer?”

I made myself a drink.

“Thing is, I’ve never seen you writing”

“I am thinking” I replied

“Oh, what are you thinking?” She had a startled look, don’t fool with me kinds.

“Nothing” I said

Maria was wearing a yellow cotton night-gown printed with pink flowers and green strokes of disconnected branches, no leaves.

“You like this room?” she asked

“Yes, for a month its fine, I guess”

“I made out once in this room” Her eyes flirting with the bed. “But it’s been 6 years, we haven’t”

She held my hand and pulled me. I fell on the bed.

“Do you like me?”

“Yes Maria, you’re a good person” I sat up.

She burst out laughing. “Have you ever written about a woman’s heart?” She swayed the whiskey glass before her face. Not a drop, dropped out.

“I write about booze and sex” I took a sip and stayed.

“Will you make love to me?”

I had nothing to say.

“If I looked 20 years younger, would you?”

“I don’t know Maria”

“Your readers might like a making out story of a young writer and a middle-aged woman?”

“No one really reads me”

She smirked “Just like me, no one reads me anymore”

She gave me a hard look and started. I was too baffled to react, unsure what to do or say, just gave in. She worked on me, her eyes pressed shut I kept looking at her face wondering if her mind was here or someplace else.
When done, she moved away swiftly, sat on the chair, far from me and the bed. Her fingers ran through her ruffled hair. She tied them up neat.
I wanted to hear the fluttering of the leaves outside, but the wind seemed had long gone.

“I should be going now”

“Good night, Maria”

A tear dropped from the corner of my eye, I ain’t sure till this day, why. I picked my boxers lying on the floor, helped myself.
John was standing at the door. He was drunk, pretty drunk but he stood there looking right at me.

“Did Maria come here?”

“Yeah, she just left”

“Are you planning to stay here long?”

“No, John. In fact…”

“I know and I don’t care” John said sternly “but you better leave”

“Yes John”

John muttered something and he head back to his cottage but stopped short. He turned and came straight up, punched my face. John, poor John was shivering.

“You got a drink on you?” John asked

I fixed him a drink.

“Are you really a writer? I mean, I’ve never seen you writing. Forget writing, you don’t even have a pen or a book on you”.

My laptop on standby had traveled miles into the galaxy. Who’d like to be around me at this moment?
John was fuming. He paced towards me. I thought he’ll hit me again.

“I gave 23 years of my life to build this family” His face an inch close, he spat on me.

“Look what I’ve got? She doesn’t even let me touch her. I never asked. I thought she needed some time off”

John looked away. His head fell.

“What can I do but drink helplessly before the man who just screwed my wife but I love my woman; I do, for my family, for my young daughters. What else have I got?”

John emptied the glass and threw it with all his strength but the damn glass didn’t break. That made him cry. He dropped on the bed. His hands held his face and the tears made their way out from between his fingers.
He jerked his head, tried getting back on his feet but John was wasted.

I packed my bags, stepped out of the room, quietly shut the door so not to wake John up but the dog…

Infantaria

9
https://arjunbagga.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/infantaria/

I’ve rewritten my poem “Infantaria” as a short story. I hope you like it.

“Fernandes”.
Call out for Fernandes, you’ll meet a Fernandes. Any restaurant or a bar in Goa, you got to find one perhaps two.
I had but found a forsaken table in an odd corner by a stupid well propped up with a drab metal bucket, an Old Portuguese house, now a colonial café “Infantaria”
I dread stepping in bars, with no bar counters, no bar stools. You got no choice but to sit on a table of two or worse four. The empty chairs moan their fate, people brazenly stare at you. Yes! I’m a loser and I need a drink badly.

“FERNANDES”

“Was I loud?”

Puny nose, squeaky eyes, lips like two thin blades, chop-chop monster frowning at me. MEAN!

“Fernandes, large rum and a beer pint.”

I sneaked a glance. Her fiery eyes glued on me. She was waiting for a sign, any sign to tear me apart.

“Ahem…Fernandes, get me a repeat, I hate to wait”

Two on table no 6. I could hear her squirrel, black halter, back facing me, curvy neck, few strands of her hair waving me hello. Guy with her was smothering his belly. Severe case of ulcer. Table no 5. Tender face, nice smile, gentle eyes paused on me. I let her go. She was cute. I had to. Outside on the bench a couple, hooked on a joint. They seemed alright. Table no 11. Two quiet couples. Mid-life crisis.

Right then, she walks in and I liked her very much. Strawberries chimed on her fluttering feathers, streaks of red splashed on my cheeks, a blush. She noticed me. I smiled. She smiled back, lit a cigarette, surfed her bag, pulled out a book. The author had her.

“FERNANDES”

But I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Her light brown hair tied back, the tail resting on her shoulder, almost touching her breast. Her loose white shirt, top two buttons unhooked and I could see her flawless skin breathing gently as she slid the pages of her book.

She ordered a clear soup. She was on liquid diet just like me.

“Fernandes, another repeat”

She called for her check. I in a jiffy got up, followed her waiter. I didn’t care to wait for Fernandes, I never did.
“I need my check, right now”
I cleared my bill, walked out of the place and stood at the entrance. I held a fresh cigarette between my fingers and waited.
I knew it was her.
“You got a light on you?” I barely managed.
I could feel her warm breath on my folded hands holding a lit match close to her face. Pretty eyes.
She took a drag from her cigarette, so was I from mine.

“Care for a walk?” I had a look of a beggar.

“Let’s go to the beach. Its quieter there” She calmly replied.

I climbed on the back seat of her rented bike. She started. I held her with unsteady hands as we cruised through quaint streets.

We walked towards the beach, back of my hand rubbing against hers. I slipped my hand in her palm. Her fingers firmed our grip. We made it to the round of the thin river stream merging into the sea, stretched out on the sand, letting the stream water breeze past our feet, our eyes gazing at the night stars but not for a bit more we could resist. We turned facing each other.

“Anne”

“I’m A J”

“That stands for?”

“Arjun”

“Arrrjuun”

“A J”

Her sublime chuckle had me in shambles.

“Is this your first time in India?” I asked.

“Yeah” She paused, seemed a bit lost “I thought I’ll find my answers here”

“Did you?”

“No in fact I’m left more confused, and it’s only getting worse”

“What’s on your mind?” I inquired.

She pressed her lips, looked me in the eye. Blood gushed in my head and I threw myself in her arms. We kissed.
Sand sucked us in her hollow. Tequila waves high on full moon slipped behind the sly cloud and a lonesome jived with strings of his guitar not so far away but my bladder was pounding for a release. I had the most beautiful woman in my arms but my bladder…

“Damn! Can you give me a minute?”

“Sure”

I got up, looked at the wide beach to find some place to walk behind and empty. The nearest shack was 300 mts away. I walked as far as I could hold and unzipped. “This is so uncool” I was so miffed with myself and the damn thing just won’t stop.
On my way back, I pondered whether to take her at my hotel room or hers, “God, forgive me. I cursed you a lot yesterday. Peace”
She was waiting for me but upright, bag on her shoulder, she looked not the same woman. Something had changed. She stepped forward, gave me a peck on my cheek and she left. I chased her but she waved me off. Just a while before she had me and I had her, the moonlit sea, our kisses and the quicksand.

My phone rang.

“Our microwave is a mess”
“What happened now?”
“Don’t talk to me like that as if it’s my fault. This thing just won’t heat up. I don’t understand. Everything is in a mess here and you’re in Goa. For what? Why can’t you write here at home, dammit”

“Sweetheart, I’m coming back. We’ll buy a big one, a very big one”

I’m damned

A life less dead
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There’s is no unrest around me
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For freedom, peace or brotherhood
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No pain, no endeavor
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No mate, no love
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Youth stained
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The worldly-wise hail “Greed is good”
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The trouble makers chant “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”
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Capitalism will always find its way
War or stimulus, either way
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Red flag nation is the destination
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Mergers and acquisitions
You bet, that’s the game
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Warren Buffett, Bill gates are best sellers
Good book pale decays
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I’m damned
Dead burdened by installments
Taxes and dry days
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The money lenders
Then, were well-behaved
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Now, the recovery agent knocks me down
When I fail
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That’s not all
NGOs and Politicians wise up after sun sets
9
Gandhi features on funky t-shirts
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Where does it all end?!
“Care for a drag?”
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🙂
I’m damned
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So damn
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damned
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Decoding Annie Parker

Hey Guys,

My dear friend Steven Bernstein’s feature-length directorial debut “Decoding Annie Parker” starring Maggie Grace and Helen Hunt is finally finished and about to go out to the world. Here is the trailer.

About
“Decoding Annie Parker,” is a feature film based on the real lives of two remarkable women.
Releasing Date : Spring 2013
Description
It is the story of Anne Parker, a sharp-witted, funny and irrepressible young woman who watches her mother, then sister, fall victim to breast cancer. When, later, she herself is diagnosed with the disease, she is resolved to fight back against immeasurable odds. The film is also the story of Mary-Claire King, the geneticist whose discovery of the BRCA1 gene and its link to breast cancer forever changed the understanding of human disease. Hers is considered one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century.

These two women are separated by thousands of miles, by circumstance, background and education, and yet, as told in the film, their two lives gradually intertwine until a final, singular and life changing reckoning.

Friends, I had an opportunity to work with Steven on a Hollywood film “One Night with the King” starring John Noble, Omar Sharif, John Rhys-Davies, Peter O’toole and many other talented actors. This film was entirely shot in India with Steven as the Director of Photography. A humble soul and a brilliant technician, he’s the reason, I quit smoking. We also share the same birth dates 🙂

Enjoy the trailer and spread the word.

Warm Regards
Arjun

P.S. Do join them on fb page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Decoding-Annie-Parker/218537534833277?fref=ts