Haiku and Photo by Tarun Mazumdar
Haiku and Photo by Tarun Mazumdar
This post is dedicated to Rie Ona – my Japanese sensei, fellow musician (alto sax player – Ska Vengers, a Delhi based Jazz and Ska band) and a wonderful friend.
She enters in the class with flash cards and books while we chit-chat about our semester one results.
“Konnichiwa!” cheerfully she greeted the handful of students in the class.
“Konnichiwa Sensei!” we replied.
“Tarun san, why are you not on Facebook anymore?” sensei asks with deep concern in her voice.
“I am fed up with it. It upsets me.”
“What about your website?”
“You have not been updating it lately.”
“Yes, sensei…. Ahhmm… I am just upset.”
“But if you recreate your account, please add me as your friend.”
I was moved by her concern as these were the first things she asked me.
“Ima nanji desuka?”
“6ji desu” we replied in chorus and the class began.
Second semester’s first class was beautiful as sensei did a quick revision with us and advised us to work harder, if we are serious about learning Japanese.
During the break time, I kept on thinking about sensei’s words on my website and haiku. Hell ya, I missed writing haiku all this while. Creative block to blame or my arrogance? I don’t know.
When the class got over, sensei called me and we had a heart-to-heart dialogue. Her compassion touched my soul and the way she guided me was just what I needed.
“Tarun san, I know you are upset but by deleting your account and not writing, you are making it worse for yourself.”
“Moreover, there are people who want to read your poems and they come back but see no activity which is so disheartening.”
“Come back for people who love to read your haiku and want to be in touch with you.”
I will continue to create haiku for my beloved readers who supported me all this while.
Haiku my love, I am back.
Diary of a Haiku Traveler – Fifth Entry
Seventh Month, First Day
Location: New Delhi, India
Temperature: 40 Degree Celsius. Home is always cool.
I felt so good when my bus crossed the borders of Delhi. The known faces and places went pass the bus and I knew I was home, to the place I love. Sadly, I am back only for a week before I head back to Bhatinda with dad.
A certain joy was right there in my dad’s eyes as he got down from the bus. The joy usually found in that of a little kid’s eyes when he comes back home. I admit I missed my city and no place on planet Earth can be like Delhi.
Photograph by Tarun Mazumdar
But I won’t pull down my pants for you, of course. Read on and find out.
Diary of Haiku Traveler – Third Entry
Sixth Month, Twenty-sixth day
Clear sky. The land of Bhatinda burns
My third day in the cantonment zone with horrible internet reception but I love the change in terms of language, food, clothes, people, vocal patterns and more. As much as I love haiku, I love my readers too who come and read my compositions. This post is dedicated to all my beloved readers. A mighty hug for you. There you go…
Moving on, haiku of the day.
If you are planning to visit Bhatinda or the neighboring cities in the summer months make sure you carry cotton clothes. The place is very humid so consume liquid; you can try sweet lassi or the salted one, Punjab is famous for lassi and you must try this beverage, it will leave refreshed.
I left the shopping complex no. 4 with 5 packets of lassi. Yum. Yum. My upcoming posts will be about the shopping complex no. 4 in the Bhatinda Cantonment Zone. Come back.
Sixth Month, Twenty-fifth day
Clear sky and hot day. Temperature: 43 degree Celsius
Location: Bhatinda, Punjab, India
As I go out for a walk, I see this gigantic peepal tree with a temple under it. People from the nearby colonies gather here and sing bhajans. I stand there and look at them; certain calm prevails around the place as the evening air is filled with rhythmic dholak patterns and chants. I stand there but my mind is elsewhere, it is thinking about Uttarakhand.
The cloud bursts in Uttarakhand have taken away thousands of lives. Thousands still stranded around the holy land of Badrinath and Kedarnath. I wonder what is so holy about it. We have fucked with nature time and again and we witness the Rudra (angry) form of Ganges. Why like dumb asses we gather at places like Kedarnath and Badrinath? I can understand the religious sentiments but why in thousands we gather and fuck with nature.
The places in the mountains are not meant for so many people, we knew this fact and this is what we did. We cut trees. We make roads. We make hotels luxurious ones and not so luxurious ones. We make space. We play with the course of the rivers coming from Yamunotri and Gangotri, I am sure we have done this. Now look what happened… The temple, oh wait it still stands, a chamatkar (miracle), I don’t know and I don’t fucking care. I salute the efforts of our armed forces who are working tirelessly, amidst horrendous weather conditions to bring the survivors back home.
God lives in our hearts, he or she lives in the temple next door (oh we have temples everywhere), then what is so bloody special there that compels us to take our little kids on those difficult treks.
I have stopped watching television shows for they show the agony and pain (no wait, they also say that they are the first ones to show the tears in that widow’s eyes). Brilliant.
*Shivling is the symbol of Lord Shiva.
Sixth month, twenty-fourth day, Bhatinda, Punjab, India
Clear sky, hot and humid. Temperature- 42 degrees Celsius
The young boys sit under the tree and enjoy lunch prepared by their mums and in some cases by the dads. Oh what a sight it is to see them relish chapattis and sabzi (cooked vegetable with Indian spices), and talk about one-sided love affairs, cricket matches, and my smart phone. I go on and ask them that why are they sitting on the road and lunching.
“It is breezy here”, a boy replies in Punjabi.
“And we are bored of sitting in the class; lunch break is so much fun here.”
Today, I miss my school days and more than that I miss my mum, home cooked food (though my dad is a terrific cook as well) and younger brother Mr. A Junior. My daddy is an art teacher in a government school and I live with him here in Bhatinda, a small city in Punjab. This is the second day, since we shifted from New Delhi after his transfer.
The best part of being a freelance writer is that I can travel as much as I want provided the place has electricity and internet connection.
Punjab is going to be a great experience for me as a traveler and a haikuist. With farms, birds, trees, generous Punjabi folks, lassi (sweet milk based drink), Punjabi food, landscapes, temples, Gurudwaras and I can go on and on and on; I am sure the land will inspire the haiku heart that beats in my chest.
But, here comes a twist, I live in the Army cantonment zone which is like a fortress and it is a massive pain in the ass to leave the zone and explore the city. I hope I will get an ID card like dad and will be able to move out and travel freely.
Till then, I will write about the campus, food, my neighbors, birds and more. Stick around for the next entry.
Have a haiku day!
The lovable memories of Kasauli still linger in my head. I wish to go back to the hills and sit on a hill top and compose haiku. I want to talk to those lovely birds, people from the hills, shop keepers, army men, hoteliers and whosoever comes my way.
My heart craves to go back to the hills; it craves to hit the road again. This city, its urbaneness is barren for me for it doesn’t quench the thirst of the haikuist in me. I want to travel like Basho, like Issa and compose haiku to my heart’s content.
Haiku is my life, my soul. I am a haiku traveler that is what I am.
Photographs by Tarun Mazumdar