In the eyes of a beast

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2008 by echomantra

As I smoked the joint, i turned to the man next to me and said “Do you notice that there are two teams playing?”

“I’ve been watching for a while, every night, two teams play here. One plays under the lights, and one plays in the dark, both mirroring each other perfectly. The teams play without abandon or shame, they play in complete and utter rapture.”

“When did they start?” I asked as I passed him the joint

“I think in a way we created them, we who don’t dare to find this passion for ourselves. We who blame the world for being to hard, and too dangerous created these teams to express what we cannot. So at the very least… we get to witness it and bask in its glow”

He took a puff and exhaled, the smoke blurred the image of the lights. It was as if the lights were the eyes of a great beast, kept at bay by the men playing on the court.

The man stood up. And ashe walked away, he said “May the night hold many more wonders for you” . And just because he said that, I knew it would.


A gig unfolds

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2008 by echomantra

A good gig can be felt. Anyone who’s been to one will agree with me, its in the air, its in the smell and feel of the crowd. They’re ramped, just waiting for the opening chords, or that thumping bass line.

This gig I was at, no wait, this experience I had at a gig has really stuck with me. The music was banging, post rock melodies. And the crowd was mellow, indie scene hipsters and quasi indie enthusiast all. The venue was smoky and dim, just the way I like it. The music reached peaks at all the right moments, and if you closed your eyes,even for a moment, everything seemed to vanish, and youre left alone with the music, hammering you from all angles.

The drum and bass rocked next, and we shook and jumped with the tempo. Sweat was pouring and splashing, my shirt was drenched, but I kept finding the energy to keep keeping on. When the sampled vocals came on during the downbeats it resonated with all your bones, with all your teeth, with all your hair, eyes, ears.

The cowman crowdsurfed. He was happy, to be up there.

The wallflowers bobbed their heads and snapped their fingers

It was a good gig.

Dedicated to Nini, Happy Birthday =D

Posted in Uncategorized on November 11, 2007 by echomantra

The moonlight coming through the window shone on the figure of a man. His body was swaying to the tune of his guitar. His fingers caressed the strings like a lover would. And they sang for him, a deep rumbling chord. The man moans a song about the woman who stole his heart.

Before him sits a girl, and she is in rapture. Caught up in the wail of the Fender, she is trapped in a world where the Blues fill the air, a world of lost lovers and a sad pain. She is in rapture.

The man plays and the girl writhes. This is how it should be, this is the world made right. And in the music they share their souls, let loose to ride on the notes from the guitar.

The song ends, and the man and girl slump forward as if their very souls were burnt to the core. All energy, gone and the deep twang and whine of the strings hangs in the air. Lifting them to the world they sought all their lives. Giving them peace.

Freedom, at last.


Happy Birthday Nini, may the music never stop in your world.

She dances for me

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2007 by echomantra

She danced to the rhythm of the bass beat. Her heart was traveling a hundred miles an hour. Her long black hair danced with her, writhing in their freedom. She was a goddess, born to dance till the universe came to an end. She was Ecstasy, born of men, to fill their souls with magic. And tonight, she was dancing for me.


Her hips moved the world, and her eyes could see through your darkest desires. She will tease me until I die of this feeling, and then she will engulf me in her flames. But to see her is to instantly fall in love with her. No man or woman has ever rejected her. She is the dark lover of the people who walk at night. The ravers, the clubbers, the living breathing souls of the world call to her every night. And she answers their call, lovingly like a soul    mate, and takes you to places beyond reality.


And tonight, she dances for me.

The beach man

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2007 by echomantra

A deep breath, and I’m afloat.


We lead complicated lives don’t we? And most of the time its because we choose to I think. We choose complication and hustle over blissful simplicity. I’m not saying  would choose the latter, but I wonder how would my life be if I could choose it.


To live your entire life in a simple place, by the beach in a hut, or at the edge of the sky and earth. Making enough to eat, and spending the remaining time watching the clouds or talking to the little kid who comes by everyday to see the “beach man”

Yea, that’s what they’ll call me, the beach man. Fuzzy, large Indian man living in a hut by the beach.

No one knows when he showed up, but he’s become a fixture around here.


I heard he once had dreams of a big city life, full of fast cars and not enough hours in the day. I heard he actually wanted to be an advertising exec. But then one day he showed up at this beautiful beach, where the sky exploded with magic at sunset. He never left.


I’ll make friends with the farmer who lives down the road from the beach, and ill eat at his house. He would give me watermelons and come down to the beach to have a smoke with me. We would talk about how in his day the beach stretched on for miles, and he would tell me all the legends of the area. Then he would pat me on the back, give me a warm smile and walk slowly back to his farm, whistling an old show tune.


I would be there for a long, long time I think. One day I’ll notice white hairs growing out of my beard and say to my self “Too fast. Way too fast” Then I would lean back on the sand and watch the magic show the sky has prepared just for me.


And when the time comes, I will lay my silver gray afro down on the sand to sleep, and not wake up. They’ll say I’ve finally joined the magical sky that I’ve been watching all my life. Someone will say they’ve seen me up there, flying among the clouds, a glint of white against the purples and reds. I’ll join the ranks of the legends of the area and people will tell wandering travelers about me.


“Hey, have you heard the story about the beach man?”


“Let me tell you, it’s a pretty good one”


Yea, that’s it, that’s my life. Not too shabby eh?

A crow

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2007 by echomantra

This is…something.
Something I wrote just because I felt like writing. needed to get the images down. So here it is,a convulated patch of images from my head, strung together with pretty words.

A crow descends into my world, black wings gleaming in the midday sun. It carves an erratic path, leaving a black ghost in its wake against the blue of the sky .It lands lightly on my balcony, silently and without hope, and if I weren’t looking directly at it I wouldn’t have noticed its arrival. But I have, it is within my world now, part of memory. I am a part of it as it is a part of me. I take a long drag from my almost forgotten fag and exhale it. Funny how the sound of my breath still seems alien to me. But the sound helps me reaffirm that I am indeed on this balcony, sitting in this chair, and staring at this crow, this particular crow, one out of a hundred of flying black rats that infest this place. But what can I do, when a man has nothing better to do than stare at the sky on a Monday afternoon he deserves to be stared at by flying vermin. I am being punished. I shall take it like a man. Stare Kafka, stare all you like. I will give you nothing except my breath and the breath of my cigarette.

The crow makes a noise. No one realizes what a crow sounds like at in a small room. The noise is deafening, but only for a second. The aural version of being blinded by the sun. The sound itself sounds unnatural, it was as if some one had taken the lion’s guttural roar and turned the bass all the way down and stuffed that into a space half a foot high. Yell all you want, you aren’t getting a peep out of me. My hand moves to my mouth, inhale, and exhale. I am playing a challenge and answer game of my own creation. I await the next challenge.

My eyes are still trained on the crow, but the heat on my lips signals the end of this fag. I reach for the clay jar I call my ashtray and stub it out on the rim, leaving it to join its uncountable brethren at the bottom. I lean back in my chair, the rattan poles fitting themselves into the grooves they have already carved on my back, and I continue this game of mine. Man against crow, the challenges are huge, my common sense is screaming from the place at the corner of my head where I normally put it. But I don’t even listen to it when I make important decisions, why should I change that now when there are matters of crow at hand.

My eyes are tiring I think, they feel raw and I can almost feel the veins filling with blood, desperately trying to stay open against their will. But I am chief of this democracy, and they listen to me and stay open and trained on my opponent.
The crow doesn’t seem disturbed by any of this; it continues to stare, now and again tilting its head in a normal crow-like manner. It was almost as if it didn’t care about winning. What blasphemy.

My thoughts are drifting again, and I find myself recalling old television ads. I am a self-proclaimed fan of TV ads. I pull out old jingles from my head and play one of my favorites, a jingle from an old ice cream ad starring a large anthropomorphic lion and a posse of children. I hum the tune out loud, to break the thickening silence. That ad made its debut when I was a child, and to me it was the greatest thing in the world, a lion who takes children around the world in search of ice cream. To a child, that would be the greatest adventure in the world. Then life began, and it filled the child with quests for sex, drugs and dark rooms filled with gyrating bodies. I would not sacrifice my life till this point for anything, I have made my mistakes, but it is my life. But maybe, just maybe if I could once again have dreams of caves in South America filled with frozen delights, life would be a bit more tolerable. Wouldn’t you agree Mr. Crow? And in response it flaps its wings, sending the dust on the balcony ledge airborne, and in this dark room they take on a life of their own, forming complex shapes in the space between me and open space. I see whole galaxies and universes in the dust. From creation nothingness in two seconds, a universe made of dust, created by the flap of a black wing.

“SNAP OUT OF IT!” my mind screams at me. “We have a job at hand; we have to beat that crow, soldier. And I expect a hundred and ten percent out of you! We do not have time to dilly dally around with this existentialist nonsense. Now straighten up and stay focused! That bird isn’t going to defeat itself.”
The screaming rant of my mind falls on deaf ears. I have already been caught by the bird, I am entranced by the universe of its creation. Or at least the universe I think I see in the clouds of dust. My eyes are glazed over in awe, or wonder, or some variation of the two.

I had lost to a crow. The lowest low a man can sink to, losing a battle of wits to a creature with a brain the size of its eye. But then again, if I was intelligent, I wouldn’t be sitting here on a Monday morning would I?

The crow glides forward to collect its prize, almost vanishing when it reaches the middle of the room, blending into the shadows. It lands on my table, I await the punishment, the punishment I rightly deserve. Death maybe?
Or maybe it will eat me. Am I to live out the rest of my days in the stomach of a crow?

The crow stands there, still tilting its head in that odd manner. It hops forward two steps, lowers its head, picks up my cigarettes, and flies away.

Cruel little beast isn’t it? Stealing a poor man’s last pack of cancersticks.

“Ah, that was a nice diversion into the existential. Now to get back to work.” says my mind. So I lean back in my chair, feeling the comfortable ache of distorted skin, and stare into the blue sky.

Now, I know I kept a spare pack around here somewhere.

Copyright Praveen Kumar 2007

The End

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8, 2007 by echomantra

I stood in the rain,and she stood with me.We held each other close and I ran my hand through her hair,dripping wet and soggy.Her hand was on the small of my back,moving in a circle as if drawing a portrait for me and me alone.

My tears fell,as they have not in a long time,but the rain masked them well.What else is the rain for except for masking tears.I could tell where my tears were,their warmth stood out from the freezing cold of the wind.I could feel as they traced a path down my cheek and into her hair.
We stood that way for a long time,I could feel the swell of her breasts through her shirt and through my skin,and they rose and fell with every breath.

She was crying too.Her tears felt as real as mine,and her mascara left a deep color on my shirt.
She was the girl in the park,and she was the girl by the lake and she was the spider in my dreams.
She was all these things,and above all,she was the love of my life.

The rain blurred everything around me,or was that just me.I dont know anymore,and the more i think back on it the more seems lost to me.
We stood in my memory with the rain for an eternity.And at the end of it all I let her go,she picked up her suitcase and she walked out of the rain,or into the world.
Gone with her was her hot breath,her tears,her laugh,her smell,her life.
Her kiss.
And there i was in the rain,in my pocket the ciggarette man had given me.
And in my living room,the painting she had left me
And in my memory,the conversation we had beside the lake.