Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Arriving early

They arrived early
for the anniversary dinner.
Even ahead
of some of the cutlery at the table.
They are here
well before the children that will follow.
They are here
taking one step at a time.
They are here
like the will before the way. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pecking order

I work in a glass house.
An old granny-type of building
Peering through its thick glasses.
Inside, I peck at the keyboard trying to make
bread and butter via a computer.
There is this regular visitor
that never misses a day of my work:
A bird pecking at the glass window.
It must’ve confused it for another bird
Must’ve wanted to kiss it up-close.
Or does it suspect it to be a still pool of water?
A taut vertical lake that is devoid of any ripples.

While holding tight onto the twig it chose
It seems to observe me for a long time.
Trying to make sense of this
part of the world before flying away.
Chewing one end of a pencil I try to note
everything down and rumple it up at you.
Knowing well that your heart is a frozen, faraway lake.



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The lines of history

Lines of fate
Lines of authority
Lines of events
Battle lines, Bloodlines
Front lines, Headlines
Lines of graves and prayers
Lines in a textbook and on water.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Driving lessons

The ABC of driving, the instructor tells me
are the accelerator, brake and clutch.
And warns that if I accelerate alone and don’t brake
then we all have to clutch at something to hold on to.
But soon I realize that the car is not capable of all that.
The only thing that works perfectly is the heating.

The rest of the alphabet of driving, he says, is to watch
other people on the road - both moving and standing still.
Only when I am at the wheel I see all these unnecessary people
on the road whom I would like to delete from the scene.
Honking can do this trick, he instructs, if the sound
is loud enough to be an extension of my disgust. 


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Report from the hills

The view of the distant snow-clad mountains
made up for the lack of any paintings on the walls.
It was snowing during spring which the locals said
was very rare - as rare as our vacations.
We did nothing during the entire stay.
This is totally different from the nothing of the plains.
Wrapped in fleece blankets we looked like sketch pens
tightly packed in twos for warmth and ease.
The next day, the sky was clear and we could see
the mountains shake the snow off.
While we struggled to keep it within us
as we went downhill. 


Saturday, December 31, 2016

From ourselves

From the baby pool of inconveniences and regrets
that I swim in I can only wish a happy new year
without knowing what you went through.
Just assuming your shoes are as comfortable as mine.

From the ordinariness for which I am thankful
I foolishly greet that your wishes should fulfill
without an inkling, that your wish is to not exist
at all to escape the recurring conflict and pain.

I put a clip of memory on the moth-like moments
that outlasted their lifetimes without realizing
the crumble of their fragile wings. A glass heart
after all holds my happiness frozen in its step.

The toss of time and the winds of change and
all the idioms of passing are sheltered in greetings.
But you, you are the one searching for shelter
in the dark, escaping the fireworks of a civil war.

The turn of a year, what does it mean, for you are
already hallucinating in hunger and wishing for a
random wander of kindness which by a remote
chance might save us all from ourselves. 


(Syria)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Of foxes and jackals

Foxes know many things
I am sure that they know this too.
Cutting the corners of cunningness
they are the custodians of worldly ways.
Jackals too belong in this august company.
This is a reaction to those two particular
jackals spinning off tales in the Panchatantra.
They've wandered again into my psyche long after
that childish curiosity about talking animals.
This time too they were deep in conversation
about not just what is good but what is possible.
They sneak in everywhere I look or overlook.
Two people talking, I can only imagine their bushy tales.
Mysterious Once-upon-a-times created even out of boredom.
Their conversation ricochets across centuries
taking me along with other animals
in the forest called human nature.




(Karataka & Damanaka from Panchatantra; "The Fox and the Hedgehog", Isaiah Berlin)