Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saffron State

In the Saffron state
As his body lay on the pyre
even the skies burned saffron to pay their respect 

A million lives touched
He lived his life by a simple code
"Be proud to call yourself Marathi
and be proud to call Maharashtra your abode"

Misunderstood, misinterprated, misquoted,
Never underestimated, feared, respected,
We never need to thank him for all he did for for
For in a true Marathi household
We never thank our family for being there for us whenever we need

For many he gave strength and hope
When things looked bleak, he made us look harder
We may have lost the father of our nation years before
but today we lost our grandfather

Adopted an entire state, took care of each and every one
He brought people out from the cold, and right into his home
Helped people selflessly, loved unconditonally,
He dared to speak what everyone was too afraid to do themselves
He dared to speak out every Marathi mind

In the Saffron state
As the tiger roars no more,
What would happen to his house, we now suspect
As his body lay on the pyre 
even the skies burned saffron to pay their respect 
In the Saffron state
ed lithium

Sunday, September 16, 2012

the man never too shy

a man in his troubling time
no road to turn to, no corner to hide
turns to his faithful rhymes
stores his feelings deep inside

using a paper and indelible ink
his hand races through space and time
pens down what he feels, and what he thinks
only place where the truth is never a crime

men sing priases of his work
as he crawls into his empty bed
'what an imagination he must have
for the man in his work would rather be dead!'

stop an aching soul and heart
a conscience with a dirty deed
and better efforts have been made by men
for no merry man can write a rhyme
for that you need
always a man who is never too shy with his pen

ed lithium

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Drowned me to life

I came up to breathe 
air that was never loyal to me
Early gray Bombay morning 
the odd winter chill
And then i submerged
into pearly waters still
and forgot the air, meant to decieve

the world went blank,
and my ears heard
nothing but the gargled voices of the Piscean world
no angry voices, no disappointed stares
no person decietful, no liar who never cared

my lungs seemed to struggle, but i was a free man
my heart pounded faster, as fast it can
and then i saw light, and i was at peace
under the water, my soul on a lease

i felt so peaceful, submerged and helpless
i was home now, and love in my head
i stopped trying to come up for air
i was now in a world with no care
and i drowned me to death 

ed lithium

Monday, September 10, 2012

My first review!

This was my first review a couple of years ago, in one of my friend's company newsletter( the editor wrote this). Just came across this and wanted to share. And although the friend is no longer a friend, the review still makes me feel real good!


Modern Humpty Dumpty

Being an avid book reader, I often spend my weekends at Crosswords, reading/ buying new books. This weekend as I browsed through, my eyes fell on a new book on the shelves. It was titled ‘Humpty Dumpty’s Great Fall’. It was the title that appealed to me and a glance revealed it was a poetry book. I don’t generally read many poems, but the innovative title of the book inspired me.
Viraj Muthye, aka, Ed Lithium is the author of the book. ‘Humpty dumpty’s Great Fall’ is his first published work. On seeing the title, one is instantly reminded of the famous nursery rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty’. But this is not a nursery rhyme book. Reading just the first poem (the title of which is the title of the book) convinced me of it. The title is apt as it talks not of the nursery rhyme, but the political unrest and tension in the world while the original rhyme was composed. It is a catchy title and creates a curiosity about the book inspiring one to pick it up. The book consists of around 80 poems. Most of them are heavy reads with an underlying meaning. The poems talk in depth the human psychology and how our mind functions even in the most complex of situations. There are poems on satire and ironies, follies of human behaviour, etc. In modern terms, one could call the poems ‘Goth’ or ‘dark’ as they are morbid and give a sense of déjà vu. But not all poems are dark. There are even a couple of light hearted, fun reads. Whatever the poem, they definitely capture one’s mind and the end often leaves a smile on the face, making you wonder.
I liked most of the poems but two appealed the most to me; Humpty Dumpty and Missle Paav. Missle Paav is a poem on the all famous missal-paav of Mumbai. Just as Mumbaikars are relishing a plate, missiles fly overhead and there is destruction. The poem ends on the note, Raju, ek missle paav, extra kanda marke! This poem aptly outlines the state of the world today and the chaos we live in. All poems teach us something and set our thinking gear in motion.
The poet, Viraj, is an Indian pursuing his MSc at North-western University, Chicago. The book is a reflection of his thoughts and how the young today see the world. Such indepth knowledge and understanding of the human psychology is difficult to find in such a young age. But the book is a sure winner, one that creates the right amount of intrigue and satisfies curiosity. A book difficult to resist. One that leaves you wanting more. Viraj has a sure winner in his first book!

the beast

The Beast

The copter swayed dangerously over the tall trees, which were unlike any botanical encounters ever witnessed. These trees (they were called trees since this word came closest to describing these structures) stood tall and broad, and were a fiendish shade of purple that had orange wavy fuzzy lines smeared across its entirety. They seemed to be rooted and they seemed to be non motile. No one knew what these actually were and what these trees capable were of.  The pilot refused to go any lower, out of undiluted fright and a selfish, yet justified fear of death.

“We will have to drop him from this point; anything below is an unidentified threat to ourselves!”

“But this is thirty feet high! He could break his back!”

“We do not have a choice! Call up the quarters!”

“It’s not possible; it would take a day for the message to reach and a day to interpret their reply. We have no choice!”

The man in shackles was still confused, dazed and unfocussed. The sedative had been too strong. He tried his best to recall how he got there but he soon realised that he had bigger problems at hand, when the two big guys in white suits pushed him out of the copter. He embraced the ground with a wrenching thud and slowly his vision faded away, as he passed out from the pain, and he could see the copter fly away into the horizon and soon become a speck that vanished into an orange sky. With that sight, the man in shackles closed his eyes.

A loud beeping woke him up violently, as he tossed and turned till the noise dimmed away. He woke up to a sight he had never encountered before, neither in his dreams nor in his nightmares.

He was surrounded by tall purple structures that reminded him of trees and yet made him very much aware that they were not. Purple and orange with structures like leaves sticking out from every where, of menacing random shapes that gave the scariest of shadows on the ground, made him aware that he was in a place he did not know. Their psychedelic patterns made him a bit confused and he had to sit down on the ground, which he found was rather soft and fluffy, unlike land he had seen. This brown soft bed of sand explained why he did not break his neck from the fall. It did not explain why he was there, where he was and who were the two men who had pushed him out. Right now he was busy wondering what the loud noise was that woke him up.

The noise appeared again for a split second but soon he heard a man speak.

“I am glad to see you are alright.”

He was startled and looked around everywhere for someone but he could not see any one who could have said that.

“I am not around you, but I can see you. I can see what you see and feel what you feel. I can hear sound which reach your ears and smells that your nose picks up. I am the one who has sent you here.”

“Who are you? Why have you sent me here?”

“I believe you don’t know who you are, so I will answer that first. May be this will refresh your memory.

A year ago, you were convicted of murdering three innocent children when you were experiencing a high of heroine. You do not recall committing this crime, but enough evidence exists to prove you have done it. You were sentenced to death by hanging, for ending the lives of three innocent children who happened to be around you on that day.”

It suddenly started making sense as the man sat down and remembered all of this.

It had been an inexplicable emotion and a state of mind he could never have seen coming, when he had committed the heinous crime. He knew he was guilty and had decided to not protest falsely. He knew that his heroin addiction had taken over his life and changed him into a man he now barely knew. A death sentence was well deserved and he knew that that was the least he could be subjected to. He was on death row for two weeks when suddenly-

“I see you seem to have remembered a bit. I hope you remember our little agreement.”

A man had entered his cell, wearing a slick blue suit and light blue tie with a hideous Windsor knot. He took off his hat and placed it next to himself as he sat down on the bed.

“Inmate 304, you have been sentenced to death by hanging in three days. You stand to lose your life because you deserve to die for your crime. You will go to hell for what you did. I am here because not to help you, but because I need your help. I am not, in any circumstance, promising you help out of your death sentence. I will personally watch you be hanged myself. But I do promise you an attempt at redemption. If you do take my offer, you probably might have a chance to help humanity, if you remember what the word means.”

The agreement had been mysteriously strange. Somewhere in the foothills of the Himalayas, there had been an incident which needs to be mentioned here, for this determines the reason behind the inmate’s fate.

“There was a village at the very foothills of the Mighty Mountains, which was a witness to the incident. A fiery red fire ball seemed to soar across the sky, lightening the stars and space with enigmatic green and orange colours that persisted for days after the incident. The red fire ball seemed to come down with such a strong force that it caused a massive avalanche that wiped out the village and took down every thing in its path. Half of the villagers died in the avalanche, but the rest managed to survive and took shelter in a small village, not far from where their village was. Authorities were informed and when they reached the foothills, they were unable to describe what they saw. The villagers gave an accurate description of what happened during that night and the authorities did not need much time to conclude that it was in fact, a meteor that had collided with the earth. The strange things; however was the sheer size of the meteor which was left behind.

You see, inmate, the meteor was almost as tall as Everest and almost 20 kilometres wide. Nothing like this had ever been seen before.

The authorities were baffled. A meteor this size should have crushed the planet, but for some reason did not. No one dared to go near the huge meteor. Do you know why?”

The inmate had a feeling that he was about to find out for himself.

“Look around you inmate, have you ever seen anything like this before? Do you not believe that this place had life? Do you not now believe that extraterrestrials exist? That there is life in the universe and that it had come to us?”

“But what am I doing here?”

“The last twenty scientists who were brave enough to explore this meteor disappeared mysteriously. We have lost twenty of the most brilliant minds our country could have produced.”

“And that is why now you trying to send the most demented minds you can find. Like lambs on a leash, bait on a string.”

“That is correct inmate, and that was our little agreement. We do not need intelligent people to collect information”

“You need bodies!”

“And that is exactly what you are for us- a body which we need to send surveillance on the meteor, to stop wasting intelligent minds, and thinkers, and people whom we need to save this planet, should the time come. We do not know what lies on this massive rock. But whatever it is, it has killed twenty people. There have been no reports of any thing leaving the rock, the Army has confirmed, but we do not want to unleash these creatures on to our planet without knowing what their intentions are. We need intelligence.

We have attached video surveillance cameras and equipments to your body, which we are monitoring from here. We have sent twenty sicker, twisted death row inmates at various locations on this rock and we need your help to see what is happening on this massive meteor.

I do not expect to see you alive at the end of your mission, but you were meant to die any ways. At least with our help, you have a chance to help humanity by helping us figure out what is happening on that rock before they decide to step out themselves.”

Suddenly this all makes sense.  I am expendable. I can be easily sacrificed. The courts decided that my mistake was too grave for a chance to redeem myself. May be this one mission might help me do some good, try to redeem a little part of me that is waiting to die after that fateful day…

“But how do you expect me to move with these shackled still on?”

There was loud buzz again and the shackled opened up them.

“I am sorry, I almost forgot about that. Do you know what you are supposed to do inmate?”

“I have no clue whatsoever.”

“We don’t ourselves. Wander around, look around, give us any thing and everything you can see, smell, touch and hear. We need to know any thing, because right now, we do not know much.”

The inmate stood up and looked around. It was magnificent. The meteor, which he would have never guessed, spanned miles around him and at a point in front of him started climbing towards the sky and vanished into the clouds. Around him, he saw his own nightmare, reminding him vividly of the bad acid episode he had had close to fifteen years ago.

He saw around him the heinous purple trees that seemed to outgrow everything in its path. There were bright yellow bushes at the feet of the trees and seemed to cower in front of the monstrous structures.

The ground, brown and soft, seemed to have been made of some unimaginable porous clay like material that seemed to bend inwards every time he stepped on it. It seemed to wobble slightly, making him very uneasy about walking.

He wondered how the huge meteor had not managed to chip off even one rock from the Mighty Mountains, let alone not destroy his planet.

He walked slowly into the tree herd and he realised that it got darker by the minute. The tree stopped sunlight in its path and made it really difficult to see what was ahead. The yellow shrubs seemed to distinctly glow in the darkness and guide the way. However not all the shrubs glowed, and the ones that did seemed to do so together, almost as if lighting distinct paths along the forest.

He walked towards the point where the rock suddenly started to shoot up high and he knew that he was not going to climb any such thing. He turned around and started walking behind. Almost instantaneously, the shrubs which were glowing before stopped glowing and a new set of shrubs started glowing, changing the path to a more eastward direction. This startled the inmate.

The meteor is telling me where I should be going. This is anything but good…..

He decided to try to trace back his path and not follow the shrubs. He had a very strong feeling, that wherever this path went, nothing good was waiting for him. He stepped into the darkness and tried his best to find his way out of the maze. It was just one step into the darkness when he shrieked and jumped back into the light. Something had slithered onto his feet and grasped one of his ankles loosely. It had let go immediately and he realised that the meteor was telling him to stay out of the darkness. What it was, he did not see and he did not know. He did not want to find out what was lurking behind him in the darkness.

The less I know, the better my chances…..

He was glad that the new path was leading him away from the towering rock and that he would not have to climb this dangerous slope.

A few feet into the path, he stumbled and fell down on his face. He got up, rubbing his knee that was now bleeding. It seemed weird. The ground was really soft and it was highly suspect that the ground could have cut his knee. He bent down and tried grabbing thin air all around him because he could not see the ground. There was a rather menacing cold mist that had not covered the ground and the shrubs could not light the ground any more. He was about to give up when his hand felt something.

He picked it up and went near a lighted shrub to see what it is.

“Dr. Longnecker, CIA”

It was an identification badge and the inmate realised that this was one of the twenty scientists who had gone missing on the rock. A closer look made him gasp and he threw the badge away and stepped back. He looked at his hands again to check if he was seeing things. He was not. It was, without doubt, blood.

He did not have much time to think because he again stumbled down and this time he fell flat on something really soft. He was face to face with a man, lying dead on his back, face mauled beyond recognition. His white suit was drenched with blood and giant claw marks were visible all across his chest. Even though his face was scratched beyond human resemblance, his lips, or whatever remained of them, clearly showed a sign of terror and trepidation that sent the inmates heart beating vigorously. Each claw mark however was distinct. The claw marks seemed to have left a bright yellow substance on the body that glowed just like the shrubs. And as the mist cleared away a little he could see the disfigured face glow with the same yellow that the shrubs were using to light his way. He did not have to think twice before realising this was Dr. Longnecker, but how he had met this gruesome end, he did not know. He realised that he was now no longer alone on this rock and that some thing out there had attacked and killed Dr. Longnecker.

I am not alone….. What if it was that thing that grabbed my leg that killed Dr. Longnecker? Or is it another beast?

He ran away from the body, sure that the claw marks were definitely suggestive of an inhuman force. No human could have managed to rip apart a human being like this. No human could have left the yellow markings behind.

The authorities know something about this. This is a suicide mission.

He started running aimlessly, just following the yellow shrubs as he went.

May be Dr. Longnecker did not follow the lights. If I just follow the path I might have a chance.

He was sure that this was the reason because the weird beast had grabbed him when he had tried to go his own way. He decided to stick to the lighted path.

It was a mile before he came to a stop.

In front of him was a huge cave. The shrubs had not started to dim away and he could see that the rock wanted him to enter the cave. He was not sure what was inside the cave but he was sure that if he stayed in the darkness he would end up like Dr. Longnecker.

The cave was at least eighty feet high, and extremely dark. He could not see anything in front of him. The rocks in the cave however were extremely weird and different from the other rocks on the meteor. They glowed just like the bushed and they seemed to show him the path inside the cave. He was not sure if he was imagining it but the rocks seemed to be producing a strange humming noise, much like a demented didgeridoo. It produced a strange ritualistic rhythm that seemed to put him into a state of constant fear. The noise started to echo as he went inside the cave and suddenly he knew that he could hear chanting.

Is there any one inside this cave? May be I should turn back…..

He decided almost instantaneously against that. He knew that his best chances were in the light of the cave and he knew even they looked slim.

He started walking towards a tunnel that seemed to be getting smaller and smaller and the rocks now were glowing intensely. He stood for a minute, gasping for air. The cave seemed to be suffocating and the air seemed to be running out. It was then when he heard footsteps behind him.

His heart skipped a beat.

His first instinct was to run but he realised that whatever it was he could not out run it. The foot steps were slow and from far away, echoing in the huge cave. He wondered if one of the scientists had survived, but he soon realised he was just trying to make himself feel better. The foot steps were dull and heavy, and no human could have made it. He tried to wipe his forehead which was dripping with sweat when he realised that he was covered in the glowing material that was on the dead body. He tried to frantically rub it off. He saw that all of his clothes were covered in that as well. He wanted to hide somewhere behind the rocks but the yellow glow was giving him away. He heard the foot steps getting louder and louder by the minute and then, finally, he heard a loud moan.

It’s the beast!

The moan was unearthly and bloodcurdling. It seemed to be of neither animal nor man. Whatever it was, it was not happy. The moans got louder as the foot steps now picked up pace. A low pitched roar followed each foot step and the inmate knew that whatever it was was now running towards him. He had to get the entire glow off of him and hide quickly.

It was then that he realised that his uniform, which he was wearing had a name tag on it. And suddenly, he realised that the beast was not the thing in the room he was more alarmed about.

Dr. Longnecker, it read,

And the inmate simply stopped doing everything he was. The moaning and the foot steps were getting louder but now they just drowned in the cave, in this confused scared feeling the inmate was trapped in. the rocks were now beating even faster, the rhythm catching up quickly, the chanting seemed louder, and the rocks glowed sporadically, matching the beat with every minute.

And just like that the rocks stopped glowing and beating and the entire cave went silent.

The only things audible were the menacing moan of the beast, the footsteps had stopped, and the inmate could feel the beast’s breath on his neck, and the inmate’s heart pounding like a drum. The inmate turned around. The cave did not let him see the beast, but he saw the yellow viscous substance dripping from two large canines and two grotesque claws.

It took just a minute and it all ended as it began.

Out of the darkness a monstrous claw came down on the inmate’s face, killing him on impact. The nails dug deep into his face and the claw ripped his face off. The inmate fell down with a thud and the beast sank his teeth into the inmate’s stomach, leaving a distinct yellow glow as he did.


July 5th, Cold Springs- Manor laboratories, a big name in dynamic psychiatric research, was shut down following the death of  fellow researchers over development of an unethical compound.

The discovery of a new sedative, as declared in a press conference two years ago, earned the Manor laboratories much deserved fame and many national grants to study more about the compound. However reports had been leaking out that in spite of the many applications of this compound, worth a major part of the Manor revenue, there had been several unwanted side effects of the sedative, involving severe hallucinations, dementia and in one suspected case- coma. Manor laboratories however claim that this compound was going to be a quarter of the cost of the cheapest sedative on the market and was soon to replace every sedative in the country. They did not reveal the source of the compound and it’s considered to be a trade secret.

The compound seems to be most likely a plant extract, however the source of the plants and the region where it grows has been kept secret.

It had been suspected that Manor lab had been facing difficulties finding appropriate subjects for testing the drug on humans. Rumours soon began to spread of the use of mentally-ill patients from the neighbouring Manor asylum, also sun by the same board, and the use of test subjects against their will. These rumours however could never be proved and Manor lab declared in a press conference that the new sedative will be on for sale from the next year. They declared that only a few safety tests needed to be performed before capturing the market.

Manor lab had declared that all safety tests had been completed. However, Dr. Crew leaked out an outrageous piece of news that the laboratories had been incapable of finding healthy patients and, sure about their product’s safety, had decided to conduct trials within themselves. This is a highly frowned upon procedure which the lab suggested was their last alternative. They formed teams of 20 within themselves and the first team supposedly had undergone the procedure. No one could prove this allegation and Dr. Crew was suspended from work.

However yesterday, the lab reporter 21 deaths of their researchers and refused to give out a statement regarding the cause of death. It was soon discovered that all 21 had died in an overdose of the new sedative, thus proving the rumours of testing the sedative on themselves. The side effects had been stronger than expected and the dosage had been wrong, leading to severe hallucinations that were beyond explanation. All 20 died an hour after the over-dose from vascular complications. Autopsies have been inconclusive.

However the gruesome tale of Dr. Longnecker, one of the discoverers of the sedative, clawed out his own face before violently breaking the mirror in his room and using the shrapnel to carve out his face. All the time, the surveillance captured him screaming about the beast, which had been interestingly in the hallucinations of at least fifteen other subjects before they died. This came a shock for everyone since all 21 patients seemed to have undergone the similar hallucination. This seems to be beyond co-incidence and had bought into question the source of the sedative.
This comes as an important event in the trial of Dr. Longnecker v/s the county of Cold Spring, where he was charged with the murder of three innocent children, while driving after taking heroine. The accident had killed the three children on the spot, leaving their mother injured. The out come of the trial was supposed to go in Dr. Longnecker’s favour; however the trial seems to have ended abruptly now. The sedative has been taken out of the product line, curiously dubbed, the Beast.

Ed Lithium

strange world

its a strange strange world

every country, national anthems on each breath

one person fasting out of choice

sounds louder than the muffled voices

of a million people starving to death

ed lithium

Monday, May 7, 2012

The road ahead

                                                                      The road ahead

When everything dims down
And everyone walks away
And every breath I take I need to make it count
I will hold you by my side
And take you by your hand
And kiss you till you cant make a single sound

When we both feel tired and spent,
And the road ahead seems too long
All we will need is all we have
And we'll have had it all along

ed lithium