Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Writer's Block

Writer’s Block. (W
The sun dips its fingers in the western horizon
Paints a hue of purple glaze in the sky
Like on a canvas.
How I wish I could capture
This moment
In my blank page.

As the sun vanishes
A dark cloud in the form of curtains rolls over
And blocks my vision.

The first curtain in glittering bold letter:
“Writing? Who is going to read your
dumb poems?”
My half scribbled papers, crumpled
Fly into my thrash bin.
The next curtain unveiled
again in bold letters
“You’re a bore”

Hope of writing collapses again
My pen slips from my grip
Rolls down on the floor,
My gaze in perplexed mood.
I see only my inner critique
Sneering at me with illusive taunts

While ideas in the form of words flutter again
I promptly grab my pen
To fill my blank pages
And say good bye to
Monster critique.

I promise myself not to stumble
into its frozen crevices of traps.
Gentle nudges and consistent efforts
Are now my vital nutrients
To help me hold my pen again steadily.

Let those curtains with dumb bold letters
Hang in someone else’s closet.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Dancing Deer

The Dancing Deer

To the natives of Manipur
known as Sangai
Marked as an endangered
Sub species of Eldi’s deer.
Habitat of the only floating
National Park in the world.
“Keibul Lamjao National Park”

My anxious search for you
Led me to this park one October dawn,
the sun was still behind the hills
at the Eastern horizon,
Autumn leaves fluttered, while the birds
flew in search of food.
You were ever illusive
as your nickname.

Oh dear deer Sangai
once declared extinct, but you defied,
now protected by the local people
and the government,
You are the proud habitat of this wetland,
you can now
dance in glory on that wet marshy land
I shall watch someday your rhythm of dance
to confirm your existence
The Dancing Deer of Manipur.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shillong 1974

The Mysterious Snake.
Shillong, India, 1974
“Look, mummy, there are two snakes. Usually we see only one.” My daughter Lata pointed out. We all were surprised as our eyes fell on it
“Yeah, it is a real snake, while the other one is fake one encircling the neck of Lord Shiva.” I said in a subdued tone.
I called my mother inside. She was still with my other kid outside. They came in and I pointed my finger toward the unexpected snake encircling Lord shiva's neck as the other fake one. My mother was puzzled and could not believe her eyes.
“This is a very rare thing happening!” she responded.
That was the time we settled in Shillong where our house was being built. My mother was visiting us from Imphal after my father passed away. We drove to this temple of Shiva at north side of this hill town. Shillong, a beautiful place and is considered a visitor’s paradise. About 5000 ft above sea level covered with beautiful pine trees is is an enchanting hill resort and was once the capital of Assam during British regime. But when India became independent and Meghalaya became a separate state, Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya whereas Assam had to build a new capital at Dispur.
It was on one Sunday in the month of August, that we decided to go to the temple. I drove my car, while my mother and the three kids accompanied me. It was a trip every one enjoyed. My husband Rup was away most of the time as his works were mostly at remote areas of neighboring states.
This Shiva temple was built by the side of a stream running through the rock of different sizes. The girls loved to go to the water which was just knee deep and some places just up to the ankle. These pictures of 1974 brought me the old memories flashing back the time my kids were young and playful. I let them have fun playing in the water for sometime and when they had enough of it we entered the temple for prayer.
There we offered flowers and fruits. Lord Shiva’s statue is always decorated with a snake encircling his neck, usually protruding at the right side of the Lord Shiva’s head. It was always that way we saw whenever we visited the temple.
That day, seeing one more snake similar to the other side of Lord Shiva’s head was something unusual. We were dumb founded. We couldn’t believe what we saw. Well, it turned out to be a real snake. We quickly did our prayer and came away considering it was a blessing to us. But we were also a bit hesitant to stay longer.
These photographs were taken in 1974. My oldest daughter Lata is the one sitting down and while my second daughter Shobha seen standing. Below is the picture of me in 1974.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What I love

I love reading fiction and nonfiction books and poems.
I love writing poems.Now when I think of writing something my mind goes straight to a poem.
I love walking on the trail by the side of our creek and the hill side nearby.
It gives me immense pleasure watching the birds. I meet a bird on my daily walk perching on the side fence. This one does not fly away when I pass by while others rush away in to the bush or fly to the branches of the nearby trees. I know it is a road runner. This one has become my friend and as I have never seen it running away like others.

I love watching the different the trees, different colors and shapes of all the leaves.

I love watching the slow rise of morning sun and the golden yellow hue of the setting sun.
I love getting emails from friends and relatives.
I love people who can talk a lot as I can think while they are talking.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010



When I was 13 I met my cousin sister Ibechaubi for the first time. At age 14 she was the epitome of beauty for me. She had long lustrous hair, slim and slender figure. Her skin was flawless; fair complexion complimented with sparkling black eyes. She was a living example of beauty with a smile which could capture anyone’s heart.
One day in 1948, it was late morning the weather in Imphal being always pleasant grandmother took us to a relative’s house for a lunch celebration. We had to walk as there was no transportation those days. Ibechaubi stayed the night before at our house so that we could go together for the lunch.
We walked on the road along with grandmother from Keishampat to Sagolband passing through Wahengbam Leikai. We were stopped many a time on the way by the passersby to ask my grandmother whose daughter she was, pointing at my cousin.
I felt like a discarded rag doll walking beside her. No one asked about me. I was skinny with bad skin. I was also mesmerized by her beauty, but I was proud of myself. I went to school which was very rare those days. I wanted to have a future career not just get married and settle down.
I should say my cousin Ibechaubi was created by the Almighty with meticulous care with His own hand. When she got married her mother-in-law was very proud of her daughter-in-law’s beauty and openly admired her. It was a rare relationship of a mother- in-law with her daughter-in-law. An unexpected turn took her away from this earthly abode during her second child birth. Her mother-in-law was in such a shock at her death, it took a year for her to recover.
When I look at my life and compare with my cousin’s who never went to school, I was the fortunate one even though I did not have her beauty. I had gone to school and graduated, developed many other skills with my studies. Her beauty had gone buried with her death. I still wonder what is so special about physical beauty.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The final days of my mother

My Mother’s Last Days. ( By Jamuna Devi Advani)

She lies on her bed
Weakness with old age
The long lustrous black hair
Now in silver grey in braid
Her face so gentle, and calm.
Three springs passed
I am back to see her.
“Mom”, I call her,
she opens her eyes
I see a glimpse of happiness
then drops of tear on her cheeks
she knows about Rup, my husband,
whose funeral service only a week ago.
I feel the pain in my heart
To see her so weak and helpless.
I sit next to her holding her hand
we both are silent
only two hearts murmuring to each other.
Eight days passed
slight improvement in between
tonight, the ninth day my brother informs me
Maiba (a priest for the final journey of life}
has been called;
I rush toward her bed,
I see her eyes closed
breathing heavily.
Mom please do not go away leaving me so soon
I sit close to her, her head on my lap
my hand stroking her hair gently
She seems to be so much at peace.
And she has gone home to Eternity
this day the 4th March,1997.
Both my dearest, closest ones
Have left me forever,
I return to America with silent tears.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Dancing Peacock

The Pecock

The peacock in
its shade of blue
heart shaped dots
multitudes of color,
its delicate feathers
spread wide open
in colorful art,
dances in the field
in rapturous mood.
The tireless peacock
eager to please its mate
dances in never ending display
For the precious moment
to be captured
in magnificent blue.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Butterfly

Blue Moon Night

Peeping through the window,
Resting my chin on the cool window sill
I drink the calm silvery moon light;
In the solitude of the night
Intoxicated and sleepless,
I surrender myself
To the gentle breeze
Whispering my love’s message
In my ear I cannot hear
But my heart can feel;
No other sound except my heartbeat,
And the lonely cricket;
I would rather stay awake,
While the moonlight shines gently
Till the full moon departs
As the twilight approaches
Bidding me farewell
Leaving me enchanted,
And intoxicated with its
Seductively calm silvery light.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Life is Poem

Life is a Poem

Every moment is an alphabet
Every day is a word
Every week is group of words,
While the words become a phrase,
The weeks become a month.
A volume of words springs out
Of my heart with a
Seed of love to be planted
On the distraught souls
Where beautiful flowers
Yet unique shall bloom
In the form of a poem
On my blank page.