Posts Tagged ‘William Shakespeare’

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

Creeps while this default earn penal interest!

To the last syllable of recorded time

My name shall ill-spoken be: a spendthrift’s fate;

Do I walk debtor’s path or pay up head high

Or pledge my walking shadow to creditors

All sundry,- and nod in surrender?

Life is an idiot who holds the cash-box

Signifying nothing

For those who live to spend spend, spend.

Original version

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

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Let me not coin new meaning to words

Or alter their sense for mere badinage:

Broken pediments may add grace to facades

But words void of wit and sense are BeauNash

Playing dandy among a mournful wake.

I have miscalled pediments impediments

And Paul Bremer for Beau Brummel, a rake.

Words are a good man’s trusted implements-

In music chords do allow inversion

But mix up fundament for aliment

another might think it as some perversion,

If in need of vigor take supplement.

But if you are not Dam Malaprop

Treat words and their sense as walk on tight rope.


Original Version:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

   If this be error and upon me proved,

   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

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Friends, Romans, countrymen,

Lend me your tears;

I will show a trick or two

Use them to ‘ffect.

What I do not feel I can with your tears

Buy me laurel of the dead as my own.

(Aside) I am their head and the mob

No head but emotions as slop.

The noble Brutus has told and you nod for all he said;

So You shall, but leave your hot tears for me.

Grievously shall it be a flood damm’d,

Till I rouse you to lend bitter tears.

Oh Judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts

Taken at the flood of the rabble!

Original Version:  Julius Caesar:  Act III sc.ii

Friends, Romans, countrymen,

Lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

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Ben Jonson the poet (1572-1632) was once challenged by Sylvester who challenged him to rhyme with
‘I John Sylvester,
Lay with your sister.’
Jonson came up with this
‘I, Ben Jonson,
Lay with your wife.’
Sylvester answered,’This is not rhyme.’
Jonson admitted it was so.’But it is true.’

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Anyone not familiar with the place 150 Tandon Enclave in New Delhi is most likely to miss it. It was carved out of a vacant lot between the Aurangazeb Road and Prithiraj Road. A Government order put an end to centuries old dispute between two nawabs whose claims dating back to the Emperor Jahangir were simply resolved by the stroke of a pen. The Government doled out lots to whom it would. It was the days of nas bandhi and Emergency.
The move benefited some. The embassies which found Chanakyapuri limiting pushed their part of the establishment there. Private parties also benefited from the Government largesse. The business houses that could not operate from Janapath found the location ideal. The Tandon Enclave for one. The enclave fronted Raisina Heights head on and Claridges Hotel on one side.
Shri Sukh Ram occupied the ground floor and any one who strayed into the premises saw nothing than a blank wall lovingly sheathed in cut stones edges beveled and polished. Nothing other than the owner’s name with a cryptic description greeted him.
Shri Sukh Ram, exporters and importers, merely let the unwary go away none the wiser. Even so it cost a fortune to whoever occupied it and sought anonymity as though it were a virtue.
Along a row of prestigious addresses one can count five consulates each competing to catch the eye while some blue chip companies hold their own in the gleaming chrome-glass facades with roof gardens floating in a well manicured lawn. Somewhere among these a gate with sentry box let the mysterious Sukh Ram let in. The watch and ward were all in place on an evening a Jeep drove in. A curt wave of hand brought the sentry to attention and the wrought iron swung on their sockets.
Next morning a icy blue Mercedes of the latest vintage with tinted glass windows shut drive past the side gravel path silently to deposit the precious cargo past the high screen. The Sikh sentry never knew who really drove since he was sent by the employment agency some six months earlier. For him if the car was driven by a chauffeur or not, was as immaterial as the name of the owner.
But Sukh Ram was as real as those who drove in the evening before.

On that sultry May morning Delhi was not spared even by a swirling dust storm that blew across from Northwest. The flame red gul mohar petals swirled, ominous red splatters all across. The Benz drew up silently motor whirring along the driveway setting an alarm among the paid hands that did not expect it that morning.
The man in his first flush of maturity came out his firm steps not breaking the stride. As he entered through the side door he abruptly stopped. The housekeeper who kept the ménage in his absence was not to be seen. The door was ajar. Ominous was what he saw through the narrow passage at his sitting room. The jade green shard that lay on the carpet. It was his lalique fruit bowl. He hurried to check the extent of the damage. Horror of horrors! The house was ploughed through as though by an unseen bulldozer. His walls were splattered with ink, and the canvas that hung above faux fireplace was slashed across many times that made him stop breathless.
‘My Amrita Sher-Gil!’he bellowed as if in agony.
He heard footsteps. He suddenly took the brass inkstand a heavy ornate brass antique he had picked out from Old Delhi quarter.
‘Do not be silly, munna.’ Sukh Ram bristled at the word. Next his blood turned cold and he knew the voice.
There was the heavy Buddha-like figure of Babulal, the don who was the liquor baron who got salaams from all. He was the right hand man of the Minister for RUT. Resources Utilization and Tradeoffs, a portfolio that meant on paper nothing but carried power. Babulal at that moment represented the latter aspect of the Union minister.
‘Get out scum’, Sukh Ram screamed, ‘I told you I don’t ever want to see you?’
The heavy lidded man merely smiled. He shrugged and said, ‘My da sez the place and everything in it belongs to him. So when he sez ‘go put some sense into Sukh Ram’, I say well I may succeed or I may fail. But no harm in trying. Was there?’
Sukh Ram felt a sliver of fear. The man was telling the truth.
Yet his voice and intonation of a bootlegger never grown beyond the argot of a pimp made him grit his teeth in pain. The flabby mouth still larded with betel stained spittle around the corner struck him as obscene.
Before he could find words the don embraced him as to an erring child and he said, ‘you’ll see my da. Won’t you?’
Sukh Ram nodded.
Suddenly the fat man frowned and pointing to the brass inkstand he was still holding he asked, ‘You carry still these?’
Babulal snapped his fingers and from behind the curtains a goon who learned to dress up from the many Hindi films materialized. ‘Johnny, see the inkpot?’
Johnny grinned and he passed some of his good-will to the occupant showing his palm still dripping with ink. The don conversationally commented,’Yer finger painting leaves very moch to be desired,’ Johnny walked towards Sukh Ram still grinning. Sukh Ram was not amused and leaving the inkstand on the mahogany side table he stood scowling. The goon showed his hands and said, ‘If you used a ball pen like everyone else I would not dirty my fingers’.
Ruefully Sukh Ram thought his goon spoke better than the liquor baron.
Babulal curtly asked his outrider to fetch the present and he did pronto. Babulal with a grin smiled once again Buddha-like and said, My da must like you a lot to give this ‘chota something.’

Sukh Ram silently took it and tore off the wrappings. It was the latest I-pad and he laid it aside. He asked morosely, ‘What of my Sher-gil?’
‘It was present like this. Was it not?’
The fellow was enjoying his witticisms and he froze. ‘You called me ‘scum.’ Before Sukh Ram could think up an excuse the don giggled and his paunch rippling was irritating. On the whole he concluded that everything about him was obscene.

The don before departing said, ‘Pleez arrange a meeting with my da. He is a busy man but I know he waits patiently.’
He added, ‘If you must know, the one we tore up was a fake. My da hold it for your good behaviour.
Watching intently his expression the liquor baron droned,’Ah you love the painting and you get it back in good time.’ He nodded complacently for having his job well. He said ‘Think what we did to your office as a visiting card.’
Before closing the door behind them the don said with a smirk, ‘we shall put all in order. So give us a fortnight. Will you not?’
Only after the duo cleared off he realized the Minister held all the aces. Either he had to shape up and meet him at his terms. He knew the Minister merely swung his whip to tell him who was in control. If he did not he was back to gutter, a prospect that detested with all his heart.
Rohini Varma was the brigadier- general’s daughter. Having briskly moved through Oak Grove, Missouri and Jesus and St. Mary’s college she passed with a degree in Economics. She was waiting for her Prince Charming to sweep off her feet and she was not disappointed. Major Dev from 65th Artillery Regiment duly swept her off her feet. He showed ardour as any full blooded career officer and thrilled her with his panache and promises. Then came marriage and a rather dull existence of a married Army wife. She regretted at times her long drawn out dream of some twenty years ended so quickly. He indeed swept off her feet but it stopped with the bed.
The Army is a well oiled machine and it takes care of its own. The Army wives club and endless cocktail circuits were wheels that moved her. She learned to survive: changing beds merely broke the routine but not her dream. It was then she met Sukh Ram and their trysts added spice to her life. The sallow Army wife had her little diary filled with ecstatic observations of life sexed up.
She was surprised to receive the sms that May evening. Sukh Ram wanted to meet her urgently that evening. What made her curious was his insistence to meet her somewhere else than two places that gave the lovers complete privacy. ‘Something is afoot’, she could not help murmuring. She flushed. Each time he found ways to shortcircuit her circumspection with daring moves. He tried to improvise as a lover that always came as agreeable surprise. The first time it was sexting with his images that she lying on bed could relish. He was well hung and the secret that it was only meant her eyes thrilled her. The girl in her was quick to give him the shock he didn’t expect. She sent back her own. Her curves lovingly gone over by webcam made him squeal with pleasure. He eyed landscapes of desire from the sequences of her haunches, breasts and down to the dimpled navel all melded pixel by pixel with the dispassionate care,- as though the images were sent by Hubble Telescope of a planet on the last frontier of the Milky Way. At the end he texted her to check Venus and Adonis by Shakespeare. He didn’t give no further hint than that. She was well aroused to patiently look up the text to get his meaning. ‘Within this limit is relief enough,’ was her answer. It made her get out of the quarters with instructions to her maid to hold the fort till she got back…


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“He is Romeo, a Montague..’©

Summer solstice 2398

“I am an android. My name is not important. I see your eyebrows go up already. You see me as different from you. Don’t you? If I can talk in the manner of man and accept you for what you are take me as I am.  You are a man and I am almost a man,-  an android. Now that you have come visiting I will make an exception.

If you are still particular for such things as my name,  color, and family particulars here is my handle: Will. As for other things in the Constellation Cygnet W-346  the rest is silence”.

Three moons later.

“Man you have aged since I saw you last. Here let me show two of your folks we have been holding in our lab. See the fellow there. He is Veronese whatever that means. Ah I see your eyes pop up. OK he is an Italian I gather from your look of shock. Hold Still. Let me gather whatever intelligence I can gather from your O. So he is Romeo and the lady,chit of a girl is Juliet. Their names ring no bell here. Sorry man. You are now palavering. Stop fidgeting. I am reading as best as I can from your biorhythm. Steady old man!  What has come over you? You are reciting snatches of your thoughts.”

“He jests at scars that never felt a wound./But soft ! what light through yonder window breaks? ”

“I feel you may soon froth at the mouth,- and you are as if stricken with some fever, uexplained.”

“Now I will try to make you get back your balance. There is nothing to get excited about. What is in a name? I shall take you myself to where Romeo stands. I ought to tell you that we had him reanimated from cold death. We put him within slabs of ice when we brought him here first. He with the girl lay in some ruined vaults. We thought we may have something real from your world.”

“Are you surprised that we use first person plural? Here we hold no difference between a professor or a sweeper. How Professor W-III reassemble dead carcass to life or the varlet who sweeps whatever left of the operation are part and parcel of the same world we all occupy.”

“Oh I can see you are all astir. I shall led you to Romeo and he is a fellow who loves to watch.”.

“No I didn’t say balcony. You shall see for yourself what I mean.”

“Man you positively froth at the mouth. So a man wants to watch. You said Peeping Tom! One moment you thought him as some god, so special. Next moment you stand in judgment of him.  What kind of a conduct! Scandalous!”

“So he prefers watching pornographic images than talking to Juliet. Is it of any concern to you? He is merely behaving like the rest of us”.

“I grant you that too much watching is as bad as your mouthing some silly snatches that are not your own invention.”

Thou canst not speak of what thou does’t not feel.(Ac IIIscIII)

“I see you are still perplexed. If you must know I am William Shakespeare.”





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