Zinfandel Moments

zinfandlThe mind is a muddle of Zinfandel.

Unlike Coleridge however, no rhymes pour forth. I become an extension of the furniture I am wedged in.

So, I can’t tell you about my crush who kissed the neighbourhood clown behind the closed doors of an electricity control room just to let me down, even as the sign outside claimed, ‘Danger: 440 Volts’.

I can’t tell you about the man who sat in a high office either, who filthily sidled up to me, promising dream assignments in London and Paris.  Having virtually spent my life in the misty greens and downs of English Literature, I almost felt homesick. But, hey, I was man enough! I burst him where it hurt most. The krait, in turn, let loose an army of snakelets on me, planted in strategic places. I kept paying through my nasal orifice for three long years for being straight. And here I am, supposed to be tolerant of gays!

Like a trained chimpanzee, I swipe my thumb on the gorilla-glass topped fascia of my mobile phone. I dig deeper into my nemesis, the Internet. I manage to decipher a few more blogs and punch comments with auto-complete, aka shoot-in-the-dark, on.  I leave crazy footprints behind which don’t make any sense whatsoever.  My imprints could mean anything to the startled reader: I may be a new age Aristotle, or I may be a differently-abled moron who has picked his language at a Learn-English-in-15-Days outfit.

Long before many things, the letter ‘f’ in English stood for a frog, or a flag, before it got known better for the famous four-lettered word, the anchor force of verbal life.  It has, however, come to represent an eight-lettered word now that can be as scandalous as the original act, if not more. That is correct, I do mean the Facebook.  I fish out the ‘f’ icon then and depress it which depresses me further with an intensity that galls me. I get vicious and leave wicked comments behind but I retrace my steps and erase the stink in an afterthought. I don’t want to commit a virtuo-social hara-kiri. Not yet.

 I check the statistics of my own weblog. The line that denotes traffic is lying prostrate like a Naga on the banks of Ganges. What riles me more, it is naked too! While behind and towards the bow, and to the port and starboard of my canoe there are star-studded cruise-ships bristling with visitors. The babel fish in my ears is overwhelmed with witticisms on prurient ministers who watch porn films in sessions of assembly. There is an acid rain on the audacity of a Delhi boy who inherited the tonsured Punjabi bosom of his mother. There is much badinage on the synthetic sangfroid of an Italian Empress and her fawning brood of marionettes. There are ululations on statues of a Dalit Queen who is her own Shahjahan.

I retreat to the puddle under the stairwell.


  1. A quiver full
    of wordy arrows,
    shot off
    with contraptions
    ranging from
    to bows
    to automatic
    stealth whizzing bombers.

    And Senor Aristotle
    meets Narad Muni
    in sunglasses,
    to discuss
    benefits of democracy
    as the Dalit Queen
    to the Capital
    on shylock elephants
    who remember stuff
    about who owes
    who else
    how many pounds of avoirdupois;
    and even
    cinematic heroes
    with disproportionate assets
    and secret liabilities……

    Wait .
    You need
    to write
    a regular column
    in black and white…

    As For color,
    its time to uncork a Shiraaz ….

    1. Hey, Suranga, wait! Let me collect my breath…. I’m not used to honours like that! A regular column in black and white? Right after you, dear!

      1. That was a Pranayam comment 🙂 You can exhale now. But with a wonderful post like this, you seriously need to write a column somewhere. And break out the bubbly ……

  2. The line that denotes traffic is lying prostrate as a Naga on the banks of Ganges. What riles me more, it is naked too!…BRILLIANT!
    Ha, ha…mine too. Average is 30 – 40 hits per day.And I am sure only ten read it. But u deserve better.
    This is your best…..have I said the same about other posts too? The F word, the fact that net is our nemesis and the nuggets about leaving footprints of bits and bytes….Amusing yet so thought provoking.Did you study Eng Lit or Psychology?

    1. Long before Freud, we had Sophocles and Shakespeare. Indeed, the great Victorian poet Robert Browning is considered a precursor of Psychology. Literature, in essence, is Psychology personified. Thanks for the kind words. 😀

  3. Probably I have said it before and I will say it again, you are one of the best writers in blogsphere. And although I am not qualified enough to comment on your blog but still I ll follow ur blog and comment as well :D. carry on mate, u r a rockstar

  4. LOL Nagas on the banks of Ganga.. who could think about that? My blog had been like that for a year or more before I started getting over 100 hits a day. It takes a wise jeweler to know the value of gem, anyone can rate a potato, but as potatoes are more popular that doesn’t take away the value of a gem. I think you got the hint

  5. Your lament about poor traffic reminds me of an insomniac friend who never took sleeping pills. His logic was, he could always delude himself that he only needed to pop a pill and drift into blissful oblivion any time. But his world would explode if he actually took a pill one day and still could not sleep. But for someone like you who had the courage to start a blog there is no escape – you will have to learn to live a life filled with anxiety about inadequate number of visitors to your blog. But never mind, you are a brilliant writer – and what is more, you are consistently brilliant, which is rare. Those who follow your blog (including myself) really appreciate your posts and that’s what counts. Still, if you want more visitors, maybe next time you should write about Sunny Leone…….

    1. Dear AB, some are hailed by the rabble, some are hailed by the royalty! It happens to be my fortune today to have fallen in the second bracket.

  6. Brilliantly written. But your English is getting a bit heavier for the lesser mortals like me. Keep writing. The humor is unmistakably there but I strongly feel that your style will appeal only those who are good in English. Even the comments given by some of your followers are .. well written in superb ( read difficult) English. And frankly, I could not understand the context also.

    1. Dear Sudhir, If an IITian of your calibre is a lesser mortal, I am probably a gerbil from Kalahari! Yet, that is a serious charge! And I do not know what I am going to do about it beacuse I weild no control over my self that writes. I write what I write!

      You’ll admit you are an avid reader. I suggest you reconsider those titles on your list. You know what I mean!

  7. Umashankar at his delightful best! Eloquence flowed freely like the wine from that bottle of Zifandel (which btw is my favourite poison).

  8. Well, ‘F’ is certainly the new D. And, while leaving imprints we do a lot more. Make relations, I guess, virtual may be… And, who bothers about stats? As long as you are read and admired by few like minded people everything is perfectly alright 🙂

    BTW, loved the way you wrote this post. Classic literature…:)

  9. This is a really humourous post – the Zinfandel haze leaps out of the screen and makes me crave some just so that I can unleash a bit of vitriol too. 🙂

  10. A brilliant one. You are apt in your comments and well disguised in your sentences.
    It is a pity that all of us are unconscious followers of Sigmund Freud. As Amitabh Bachchan would have said ” Tum maano, tum na maano, tume yakeen karna hai ya nahin, isse kuch farq nahin padta. Desh bar mein Sigmund Freud ki soch faili hai. ” It is a pity that no one is able to look beyond the realm of Freudian thought. Religious contonation to sexual thoughts comes later my friend. Much much later.

  11. How did I miss this one? I agree it is a true gem of a post. And, when I started submitting my posts on Indivine, I saw most of your posts with huge votes and among the toppers. They do deserve that position! But, looks like the traffic line now resembles a kite cross-crossing the sky in gay abandon rather than a naked, prostrating Naga :). Loved all the drunken moments you shared with us in your typical prose. And, the interpretation of the new f word was bang on. I wish I could write like you, drunk or otherwise :).

    1. Ha ha ha! Thank you so much for the compliment. I am indeed blessed to have readers like you. Never mind those votes at the blogging community: half of them don’t read, or is it more?

  12. Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading it. If you write this well when you are drunk, go for it man 🙂 and f word is really spot on.

  13. I read this one before. But I donno why I didn’t comment. Now, after reading your ‘Marked’, stopped by again..:)

  14. The statistics of my blog is like a roller coaster ride and I scream the most when it comes down crashing .
    Beautifully written.

  15. This is indeed a cool post. Though some of it is out of context. Naga has now raised its hood and rearing to go. And if anyone mistakes you as someone fresh out of a 15 day English crash course, I would like to know where they conduct those kind of crash courses and enroll myself.

  16. What a delightfully humorous post! Well, I am glad to tell you one or two of the daily blips belong to me, I am continuing my journey through your blog backwards in time. But I jumped to this post from that tag post, Marked. I enjoyed this a lot.

    Since commenting is off in the Ghostwalker, just wanted to tell you I was touched by the heart wrenching poem. It’s terseness is sharp and brutal, and leaves behind a deep and long ache, and the bare and raw pain painted with your words finds resonance in every mortal soul. I am truly sorry for your loss.

    1. I must be blessed to have found a patron like you. Believe me, I will need more than a lifetime to express my gratefulness! Am I glad you enjoyed it -I was rather miffed when I wrote it!

      I am sorry to have turned off comments on Ghostwalker. It is a penance and a prayer. I couldn’t stand some unsavoury commentary it received.

      1. US, you are as humble as you are talented.
        Readers are here because of your wonderful work. I am here because your thoughts and ideas strike a chord with me, and you write so beautifully. And to top it, you interact with readers with so much friendliness and courtesy.
        I am a consumer, and I mainly read things written by others, than write anything of much import. But I believe that creative people need an audience, and there is a value for a discerning and loyal consumer. So I am happy being a happy reader 🙂 Please do keep writing!
        I am sorry to hear about the unpleasant comments on Ghostwalker, it was right of you to turn them off.

        1. My dear Nomad, even as I write this, there are at least five desperadoes going around telling everyone and everything they are running into that I am a venomous rattlesnake! So, Beware of me! 😉

          Thank you for believing I have talent. Allow me to assure you of your compelling pen too. God knows, good natural writers are a disappearing race.

  17. Haha,
    Quirky stuff US. Very funny.
    (Zinfandel is one of my favourites too; even moreso now that it seems the great man Coleridge may also have imbibed same.)

    “The line that denotes traffic is lying prostrate as a Naga on the banks of Ganges.” – What a gem! The melding of the old India with the ways of the modern.
    “or sighed at the audacity of a Delhi boy who inherited his mother’s voluptuous shaved Punjabi bosom” – is that Rushdie I hear?

    I think the Zinfandel weaved its vinuous magic.
    Cheers, ic

    1. Thanks a ton, Ian! Come to think of it, It was only when I started receiving comments the night after that I remembered having written this ‘quirky’ post! Fortunately, I had stopped short of a full monty! 😉

      When a Naga lies prostrate, his hands stretching ahead, he is absolutely flat and parallel to the ground and that is how the graph had looked. As for the shaved Punjabi bosom, it is a reference to an ‘open letter’ from a Madrasi* girl to her Punjabi** beau -the post had gone viral.

      *South Indian
      **North Indian

  18. Umaji, its been a long time since I had last visited your page. The title sounded quite interesting to me ad so was the post. I didn’t want to understand much about the contents of the post but I just felt like reading it on and on and on…. If you ever write a book, it shouldnt be with page numbers.. it should be like those rolled messages used in historical times… 🙂

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