Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Avoiding the genius

Ofcourse, I am all bruised
after all those efforts
to rub my shoulders with the giants.
Geniuses like Hawking, though confined to a chair
and far away like a quasar
unsettle me in apocalyptic terms.
Species of this breed, who would, in a fraction of second
light up the dark corners of a confusing world
drive me to my room and bolt up my sociability.
I grew impervious to their success stories over time
and learnt to cleverly sidetrack the conversation
and discuss things of the immaterial world.

Despite the care I take to muffle such noise
there are some inevitabilities that crop up.
When I hear of a character from the past
stretching the limits of my imagination.
That is when I succumb to the pangs of hope.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A new dawn

It is all a new world by dawn
The sun brighter than ever
A new morning with new hopes
glistening rays across the green slopes
A rainbow adorning the skyline
A morning which outdoes itself to shine
A sunny dawn, A pleasant weather
What care do I if everything is fine.
The joy ,as always, is all mine.

(A re-post. This piece went to semi-finals in the International Amateur Poetry Contest held by, this is my deceitful attempt to hit the century mark for this year)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Natural selection

Legalities, moralities and formalities
Chain us in this zoo-like world.
Of course, there is enough grease to loosen them.
Under this invisibility cloak of morality
how could you protect a deer from a Lion?
It is to be devoured and feasted.
On the other hand, no hanky-panky is entertained
The picking has to be slow and natural.


Carrying a detailed report to its heart
Light travels alone in space to find you.
It tries its best at the marathon
and arrives a million years late.
You are a fossil by then
having a lot of catching up to do.
It's not that you were waiting for any message
You never knew that it was posted.
Anyway, let me tell you
The sky was lit up like a thousand suns
with the Christmas gift from far away.
It was good, you just missed it.

Friday, December 18, 2009


In a bowl of water, collected from the springs
Nostradamus foresaw us.
With predictions centered around disasters
he saw many ends to this world
But nothing as clear as what I see today
when I look at the rising sea and thinning rivers.
Rivers, once ribbons wrapped around us
are now, the precarious threads holding our lives.
Agreed that worlds end everyday
in instances of news-making explosions.
But what 'might' lay in store
is death by entrapment.
It might not be at the door step
but I can hear the elevator coming up.
I know I can jump off and end it, once and for all
Would that be a good enough fight for survival?
Will I be that weakling in Darwin's index?
Crushed under the cold feet of betterment?

I believe in might
'Might' has a mighty hope.
That could save me from being
the boiling primordial soup.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Whoever is dead
Over those heroes
Our future would march
into the tunnel of chauvinism.
More or less, less or more
The loot will not change
but the looters might, now empowered
with that slight change in dialect.
The dream goes on
to distill and separate
the blood mixed over time.

Cartographically speaking, I belong
to two different sides.
My tongue is from the other side
but the rest is from here
I only wonder about my mind
Who would lay claim on that?

Celebrating our helplessness
suddenly suicide is heroic and the bards are out
writing songs for the coming of a golden age.
Wishing for a Midas, who would
bury us alive in his wealth.
For the revolutionary artists, recession has ended
Free food and shelter, and a footnote in the history
is all guaranteed for them, either way.
They played with stones all these years
and only now struck the golden spark.
The fire caught on to the dry forest
Warm for now and like the early man
they dance in a trance.

Clothed in white, the egos are short
but their shadows wish to be long
and crawl towards the horizon of time.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Those days

And for quite some time in the initial days
a ring of telephone would jolt us, and
We would gather to observe the expression
On the face speaking into the receiver.

This was, we were told, a replacement
Of the Telegram, which almost always carried
Grave news about illness or death.
Every ring was like an alarm bell.

Darkness wouldn't stop it from waking us up
It would function all the more promptly
When something went wrong
There is no chance for escape.

A feeble voice of fate over an eerie static
Would talk to us and inform about the bad outcome
Of an exam, where as I,locked in the bedroom
sandwiched between pillows was pretending to cry.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Sometimes, certainty gives me
a feeling of weightlessness.
A momentary joy of not knowing
The next trap, the next hurdle.
Hanging in a limbo has seeped
deep into my conscience, that
something certain gives me a jitter
A suspension of disbelief.

Over the years
I attributed much chaos to the universe
If something went wrong I would say
"I have put in my best
but fate failed the test"
There would be 'Ayes' and 'Nays' for this
All rational arguments about
Why I was right and wrong.

When I succeed, I know nothing more
Than when I fail.
I don't know if I deserve either of them
But, who is it that decides?
Like a school kid who accidentally
finds himself in the first place
I collect the report cards from fate
And come back quickly to the seat of reality.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Evokes itself in uncertainty
Stays as an uncomfortable zone
to the seeker and the giver.
Sadness in each others' eyes
is like the tears of a fish:
A pondful or not even a glint.

Imagining ourselves
in the densest darkness around
We invest for future
like the money on wall street
It sways, it stays
It is all uncertain
Behind the flowery curtain.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Was it only a fleeting innocence ?
Like a stray cloud over an uncharted terrain?
What was that shadow of comfort and caring
blocking the blaze, almost to darkness?
How quickly coldness swept in
to give a hardened look
of a land ploughed for years!
There is no revoking of such innocence now
It would be disastrous.
Like a lie, innocence changes
its hues over time.
But what is worth remembering
is the dissolution of our identities
in that field beyond right and wrong.
Where we transformed into just being.

(Courtesy : Nisheeth Srivastava for "....the field beyond right and wrong...")

Friday, November 13, 2009

In the end

Like an old clock
he has seen many times
His youth had enough
of those resonant chimes
Now he is a heavy book
on a wobbly lectern
Important but unread
he is a dusting classic
The end, he knows, is tragic.

(Title courtesy:Linkin Park)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

State of affairs

Her cracked feet
sport deep ridges of mystery
like the stories she narrates.
Of suicides and extra affairs
Of murder and revenge
Of angry housewives and hating in-laws
Of the lost glories and new rises

Behind the haystack and
beneath the temple walls
She knows it all.
Like a temple threshold
she is crossed by all.

Children fall sick and she knows
which lemons to choose to ward off the evil.
A mid-wife and a grandmother
An exorcist and a foreseer
To the rich widower, some say
She is also a wife.

For anyone teasing her
there are ancient quips in store
She threatens to send evil to their house
to carry away those who are half asleep.
They try to win over her, asking
for stories heard a thousand times before.
Too scared are these children.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


For me
writing is a zebra crossing
painted on a lawless road
I try to reach over to the other end
Sometimes, shouting all along
and drawing attention
But almost always, end up contemplating
a compromise to be at peace.
The fire within will die down with time
like the brightness in the school album.
It will be remembered rarely
as a fashion that is passe.
Only these words would remain as a mirror
exposing the leakages on my skin
Unable to contain the ideals that escaped.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Like whispering leaves
in the evening breeze
we lean on each others' shoulders.
We own and yet disown
We comfort and yet not indulge
There is a degree of helplessness to us
A limited degree of freedom
There is nothing we can do about it
Except pushing it behind ourselves
And cutting through all the years.
That is how nostalgia is built
Something that is behind us now.
At times, it is cold and heavy
like a necklace of stones
Hanging heavy around our necks
And pulling us to the ground.
But we go on with that burden
to climb new heights.
Like a stone being rolled uphill
Heavily and helplessly.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Eternal summer

The clouds disappeared suddenly
Like the relatives after a festival.
The indefiniteness of solitude is back
with its blues and other hues
And without its centimeters of leak.
Once a while there is a "tup" sound
A suicide cracker bursting itself
in the afternoon heat.
The chill in the air gives me a shudder.
How Time is starting to be cold
And throwing another year into the bin!
And like a worn out Halloween mask
exposing my vulnerabilities with each calender.
I long for a siesta in this eternal summer
I long to do nothing-
Today, tomorrow and the day after.
I long for such an abstract illusion.
Tomorrow, like a tough exam in the school
pulls up a knot in my stomach.
I cannot ask "Why me?".There is no answer.
I lost myself somewhere back then.
In those years, when I should have
stopped for a thought or two.
Not being sure when I will meet him again
I drag myself like a log of wood on tar
Making a screeching noise-
Neither a prayer nor a shout for help.

My dear words

I can start off directly
with a rhetorical conclusion.
What will the body be filled with?
Shouldn't it have a head?
Shouldn't I care for a tail?
Shouldn't it be, atleast, anthropic
and jumpy like our ancestors?

Like the hiccups that won't leave
Should my words stay for long
after the act is done?
Should they be melancholic
like the incessant rain when you are stuck?

An injection shot or an anti-biotic?
A small pinch now or a bad stomach for a day?
A pain in the ass or a bitter tasting tongue?
Where, what and how should they be?

Monday, September 14, 2009


From the heights of Charminar
Life seems small and unimportant
Something to do away with.
Pearls scintillate in the streets
Adorning your journey
To the minaric heights.
Countless pigeons flock its windows
Like warring ancestors for control.
They fly off now and then
For prayers in Jama Masjid.

In Salar-Jung's museum
Rebeca, in her delicate folds
Welcomes you to a scattered past
Swords and shields
Nut crackers and ivory cases
Fancy pistols and barreled guns
Sexy goddesses and meditating Buddhas
French furniture and Japanese clocks
Bidri crafts and Chinese jade
Endless things in the galleries galore.

On the banks of Hussain's tank
Are poets of the yore
Stuck with their verse, and
Looking up to a smiling Buddha
Clad in a folded robe
And dressed up for the sermon.
As you traverse along
The necklace adorning the ascetic
There are lovers, lost in each other
Like Quli and Bhagmati.

The Shahi tombs lie abandoned
Lost to time like an ancient love.
Once in a while visitors turn up
like memories of nostalgia.
The dynasty rests in peace
As the sun sets and it loses sight
Of the palace on Golconda.
Pin drop silence around the fort
Except an odd couple dancing
Before a moving camera
Like Shiva and Parvathi
With takes and retakes.

Away from this bustle
In quieter streets
There are unmarked graves
And surviving fort walls
Weeds grow through them
enshrouding their existence.
Stories as children we hear
Of treasures being carted away
Every night to Istanbul and London.

The city sleeps sound
With the undercurrent of love
Of Quli and Bhagmati
Still seen on the bridge
In each others' arms
Listening to the Moosi
As it carries away
The sorrows of the day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


War, like a video game
In the rugged terrain
Two soldiers, white and black
Almost brothers, fight in the slack
The enemy, an unsophisticated hero
From the previous version.
Food and weapons.
Weapons and food.
Men to kill.
Men to guard the killed.
Arms in arms.
In love this could mean something else.
Breakfast: On a table supported by Kalashnikovs.
Lunch: Near the barricades, if alive.
Dinner: One could be, to the worms.
Across the Atlantic, the indices soar
The economy booms like the bombs.
Listen, you can hear it booming.
If peace could create so many jobs.
May be it doesn't
Someone has to do the killing
And bring home a piece of peace.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How am I

How am I a mirror
Of the times I live in?
If at all anything
I am a mirror in an empty room.
Now, what am I looking at?
And from which direction am I looked at?
And what is understood of me?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Singular and unique

The co-ordinates of death
In the space-time continuum
Are nothing to be talked about.
They are in fact eluding
Like the early morning dreams
Stored and yet slipping away.
But they can be felt,the mystics say
When it is that time of the day.
The flickering of lamps
Warnings from alms seekers
Right from the street dog
To the fading portrait of god
All are sign posts of death.
Only that, you wouldn't notice.
You might give this a thought
And be jolted to what you are not:
A helpless dud.
You are helpless only beyond your life.
Don't forget it this time
When there is a meteor shower
You wake up and take shelter
And when you are buried under the rubble
Please show signs of life
Unlike the stones sandwiching you.
Forget abut the collective.
You are singular and unique.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


My dreams, I shared
with too many people.
And now, they lie scattered
like old friends.
Sometimes, I see them
in the buses I miss.
And often in a crowd
that's difficult to wade.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Living is believing

Action, Inaction
Persistence, Resistance
Active, Passive
Frowns, Laurels
Ups, Downs
Losing, Winning
Love, Hate
Later, Now

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wanted: A hero

I am lazy and hence
I am not my hero.
Some one else is.
I do not care if it's a phantom
like gods and demigods.
I need a symbol of sorts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


How awkward it would be
if the dead come back alive!
What you have made peace with
turns up one evening at dinner.
What would you have to say?
Will you be pessimistic and think
someone is playing a prank on you?
Or chit-chat casually like before?
Will you be able to make room
for this unexpected arrival?
A long list of questions can arise
From the soap cake to sharing rooms.
That is why these beings of the past
come visiting in their Halloween costume.
That scares us hell, but saves us
from the awkwardness of normality.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Family clinic

No, not the one to the left.
To the right, inside the gully
Opposite to the tailor shop.
Can they convert it to a boy?
No, that's not possible.

Friday, August 28, 2009


A prism divides purity into many shades.
But darkness is still intact in one piece
Though punctured by
a little light here and there.

You are that

Like the ugly graffiti on the walls of a subway
you are secondary to the traffic above.
No one can lift you out of this wretchedness.
Sometimes, you hear of accidents and feel lucky
Other than that, your life is pedestrian.
Time is a one way traffic and you are always
on the wrong side and are gripped by fear.
You don't die at one go, instead you hope.
And circumstances feed on you like maggots.
Delusions that escape your mind form a reality
A construct of your whims and fancies.
With its different norms and charms.

Parting shot

She said, "Lunch in the oven" and left.
He found spicy noodles.
She never came back.
Earthworms, I guess.


There were four odd does
that visited the fields.
We whistled and they jumped
Out of fright, but it was fun.
It has been years thence
By now they must have grown
Probably died and dried too.
Hyenas were too many
in the adjoining woods.
Were the does hunted by them?
They ran faster for a whistle.
They must have escaped surely.
Did they die of old age then?
Now I hear, hyenas too disappeared.
Like the Gods playing hunting and hunted
and one day, bored and disappeared.
A dry wind now cracks open the fields
displacing people from their land
and giving it way to the surviving species:
Memories, alongside, Cockroaches and Lizards.

A thousand souls

I am scared of giving away
too many words to this world.
From behind half-open doors
I answer voices crying hoarse.
In the light that trickles in
I have my struggles and wins.
Close to myself I have another self
pushing me to be out in the open.
But I engage it to watch the murals
on the inner walls of my solitude.
There are violent protests at times
like the tantrums of a child
subduing into the night of calm.
Marking the end of the day
I stand near the window and gaze
while the doors in the distant buildings
are shut like tired eyes
and a thousand souls rest today
keeping their voices away.

Monday, August 24, 2009

You and I

I was humming a song
expecting you to sing along
You just stared "What's wrong?"
and left not before long.

I was recounting a story
Agreed it was a bit gory
You were nodding and dozing
Climax was your snoring.

I was struggling with a line
You wanted me to explain
I started to and we broke
The next morning I awoke

I was happy, I sang out loud
You were unknown of the crowd
Next to me you sat with a frown
and asked when I would get down.

Now we have grown cold
or just carefully old
And slipped out of that world.
Stories, we no longer share.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I gaze at the stars
and at the darkness between.
I spot the faint red mars
and the green-yellow-green.
In between the twinkles
truth flashes like a spark
Faint as early wrinkles
but as the passing age stark.
And I feel a jitter of loneliness
under the dome of distant worlds.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In the sands of time

As children
we used to play on a heap of sand
making patterns with polished stone chips.
They were buses, cars and heavy vehicles.
The finish lines and gas stations
were scaffolds made of twigs.

Often, petty fights arose
about the new roads we could take.
We argued and had the heap divided.
Each new member in the other team
upped our jealousy and we
destroyed their worlds
in one quick pouring of sand.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Under the village sky

Stars in the village sky
Faint among the bright
Bright among the faint
Extend far into the fields.
Lying on our backs
we counted them and narrated stories
till sleep silenced each of us.
There was a story about wolves
someone happened to mention.
I slipped into sleep thinking
about the missing child.
The night was dense and dewy.
The trees swayed wildly
as if to breakaway from the roots
and walk towards us.
Like a thousand tongues their leaves
reflected off the syrupy moonlight.
I turned this side and that
groping for a hand to hold.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Come on, gear up
this is a tale of hope.
I would like to announce
Sadness is to renounce.
Happiness would arrive
by the express drive.
Remember to bow low
for it likes a humble show.
All those worries you had
made even happiness sad.
Now it's time for a change
and it is through exchange.
What could you offer?
What would it prefer?
No place for these questions
as there were many suggestions.
It was decided to have your memories
and re-tile the heart with bright ones.
Bright like the new white ones
mirroring your happy smiles.

Will you be ready
for such a trade?
Decide fast,there is a long queue
under the engulfing shade.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The ribs of the umbrella have just got weaker.
However its skin has a better floral design.
Even in a slight wind they dangle like fractured arms
and once in a while they turn inside out.
I only wish to save my head from the rain
because that is where I exist as a mud hill
that could easily melt in this spate.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Disconnect and me

Disconnect is that one extra passenger
in a crowded transport.
Today it is between strangers.
Tomorrow it will catch up with chums.
When bards brood, it whispers to say
that it runs the whole world.
I request a private audience
and question, "What about trust?"
There is a villainous guffaw announcing
"Trust is a means and I am the end"
It prides itself in being the scissors
that cuts the umbilical cord.
I object and turn its chin
to the chirping lovers on the bench.
A laughter that knows the answer, quips
"Their nearness is the density of disconnect"
I sigh and point the picnic party on the grass.
There is silence for a moment and then it strikes
Don't you see the children scooping out
their parents lives and leaving them to the wind?
Weaker and lighter like those plastic cups.
I stroll a bit towards the pond and bend
to see the lotus growing out of the muck.
At such a precarious posiiton I push it
and as expected, there are no ripples.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Deep sea

The loneliness of waves is sea deep
and is opaque enough for my peep.
There is a struggle in the distant scene
Nearing the shore it subsides to glean
the innocence of children in the sands.
The evening star shines through twilight
as a twinkle in the eyes of a crying baby.
The waves well up to match
the grief of walking shadows.
The brine in the gale parches me
as the waves recede into darkness.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The silver lining

The Sun glows like
a blood stain out of a bandage
Birds fly hard and high
into the thinning sky
and escape the airy bondage.
Trees give in to their roots
and stand still like prisoners of war
A lone eagle gives up flapping
and floats lazily in descending circles.
Evening walks into a twilight gloom.
Curfew awaits the night
amidst the whistles of the owl
and beating of crickets.
Darkness envelopes like a womb
and I grope for succor
of a friendship of the past.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Health museum

The baby proved useful right away.
It is displayed at the museum
in a jar of clear Formalin.
The mother is allowed a free entry.
Once a week she comes and observes
the floating, growth-stilled piece of her.
Her only child.

She was worried that her child was lonely there.
No more now, as two more jars are added.
The children face each other as if talking.
From womb to womb, jar to jar
through an invisible umbilical cord.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


A few steps forward
and a few backward.
Salsa of life.


If commenting is a must
You are nothing but dust.
Scurrying rats
you and your thoughts.
Nibbling on the ends of
the gunny bags of reality.

Moving on

There was no drama
It was just smooth
This breakup of mine
with reality.
I withdrew like the snail
with all the softness
into a hardened shell
carried on my back.
A slow and unnoticed retreat.
But when it comes to moving on
I have the pace of a rabbit.
Burrowing here and burrowing there
there are holes dug all over me.
Voids which tunnel through
past and bend into future.
Somewhere in these gaps
I exist as the darkness
as a seeming shallowness.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rain, go away; No, please come back

If I have to meet someone from the past
I would want it to be myself.
It is Narcissistic, I know
But how great it is
On a rainy day
to fall into the bed of past
and rest for a while
underneath the layers of time.

Time often leaves me
dry and disappointed
like a failed monsoon.
I pray for it to stop for a while
but it moves on like a school bus
carrying a hundred joys
to order and discipline.

Incessant rain is a recess
where time comes to a stop.
I remember it to be long back
when we made paper boats
that sailed safely till the canal
and joined others into time.
Only to meet me today, as glassy memories
circling in the eyes, before they are sucked
into the vortex of time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Power-cut debates

Over the years, like old clothes
Our arguments develop holes.
You would have made your point across
won the argument for the day in college.
But now when you look back on the debates
there are gaps staring at you.
Gaps that were once covered with emotion.
You have moved on since then
From the twinkle in the eye to bifocals.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Flying colors

Sometimes the wind is such that
it doesn't tear away the kite
instead stalls the flying colors.


I know that there is this world, other than myself
where I am just emulating a million others.
But there are differences that I can feel
in the seeming similitude.

In the early morning silence where past
wakes up and chats with me over coffee
there is a specialty I can feel.
One can call it a pedestrian illusion.

Over the years I have translated
the cryptic messages on the milestones
into success, failure and their variants.
Now I have invented ignorance of these milestones.
Still I go along, not as a timed arson
but enjoying the timelessness of things.

I know it is an illusion and all those theories.
(I know the word "ephemeral" too)
But somewhere I should start showing peace
I should cease to contend and be content.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In circles

The world goes around in silent circles.
What do they matter in the grand scheme of things
These little tragedies of Sophocles.
Theaters across the universe are jam-packed
with plays like these and mainly these
till the actors are down, wrinkled and cracked.
How is your thing different? Does it involve the gods?
Restive questions from the audience. Then it's announced.
"This one has lot of hope" and everyone applauds.
Hope is heavy on them after all these tragedies
But still, is an intoxicant with
a strong spell like the elixiric remedies.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Some memories

In the racks of thoughts
some memories are hidden books.
Sleeping behind the slanting volumes
they seem to be out of place now.
But back then, there was a purpose
which is now forgotten.
A calculus text in a psychology row
that is what I wished for that
memory to become. Untraceable and
unconnected is what I had planned.
But now years after, my thoughts flow
in search of that memory like rainwater
in search of a depression in the plain surface.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


On the ramparts of Olympus
there is a chess board spread.
Pawns are being sacrificed with tact.
It is time the king shows up
with his much awaited single step act.

Far down the hill is Sisyphus
still rolling his boulder
while Atlas is suffering
from an aching shoulder.

The idle gods come to life
with Homer pouring out his epics
Vesuvius has bad stomach
and Pompeii is turned into relics

Brahe is losing sight and
is misplacing the heavens.
He is calling with hope
to hark his grievance.

Davinci is still dabbling
while Newton is eying the apple
and Galileo is grappling
with old age in a prison.

There are Socrates and Plato
awake round the clock
discussing reason and rationale
and the right dosage of hemlock.

The game is heading to a deadlock
and the next move would take time.
May be eternity, may be now
Zeus is stuck.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Under the tree

Pushed away by the wind
the little drops of rain
run towards her for a hurried kiss.
Heavy with the rain, the tree droops
as if to curtain off this scene.
Our eyes meet as fellow refugees
eagerly exchanging their stories.
It feels forever under the tree
as rain resounds like applause.
She inquires if it would stop
I flinch and ask back, what?
She says rain, I pray again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I walk through the lanes of lines
like in the aisles of a library.
I make my way to the window of meaning
where the beams of essence bend
through the glass of perception.
Dust sparkles in those beams
filling them with commotion
like our wandering lives
trying to escape reason.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The clock is dying.
The seconds hand is convulsing
like a dying man and the other two hands
are helpless near and dear.
It shows 3:20
It might have slowed down much before
like grand father did, before he died.
It was his clock anyways.
It feels good to see time being helpless
without ticking away hurriedly
like a night watchman in early hours.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


How it starts and how it ends
How it bends and then extends
How it breaches and then reaches
How there is never enough of it
How it makes our lives bit by bit.
How little squabbles turn out
How naughtiness would sprout
How it is one of the purest
How it is one of the surest
How it spans the entire universe
How it is present in a humble verse
How sacrifice makes clear sense
How sometimes there is no sense
How tears dry in each others faces
How elastic it is through all the phases
How one day it might breakup
How one day it might end up.

From a distance

From a distance, things that stand apart
appear to be near, like the moon and hills
and close brush offs are distances
that are never covered in life times.
The distances between minds are ever increasing
like the girth of universe.
There is more dark matter and light
like hope is tired of swimming through
groping its direction and reaching a finish line
which has already moved further into darkness.
All light dies at some place. It burns out.
I don't think darkness is declared a winner either.
There is just a moment of elevator silence
and a new beam begins to chase darkness.

Friday, May 22, 2009


A stray dog from the streets of Moscow
found its calling in the outer space.
It was caught gazing for hours and hours
at the endless night sky .
Sufficient amount of practice, they thought
and cannoned it along with oxygen and food
A small wag for a dog
but a giant push for the dogkind.
Till date it remains the only dog
to break away into outer space.
Nothing is ever the same.
Now the dogs look up to the moon
and howl in unison.
They had even invented a hoax that
it was deported to Siberia.
But they all believed it went some place nice.
Since then, a number of dogs strayed
onto the streets, all over the world.
They are all sterilized
and with the moon in their eyes
they wait for Khrushchev.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pillion rider

When the hand holding the bicycle in balance
loosens the grip for the first time
there is an emptiness that you feel.
Soon enough, you are occupied with the ride
forgetting about the pillion riding void.
It hasn't left you though.
Riding along as you go
it occupies the nearest seat.
You might crowd the journey
but there are gaps, wedged deep
like the fissures in a dry field.
In those gaps amidst the arid moments
sprouts the emptiness like a summer weed.
Like the uncleared guilt it surfaces
at odd times and you shudder
for a moment long, of pure loneliness
buoying on the undulating waters of time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Insanity does easy time travel
It takes less luggage
and is more comforting.
Images and stories
that lay yellowing
between the warped pages of time
are connected to the present.
And then ruminations happen
drawing parallels and perpendiculars
on varied topologies of perception.
This happens mostly when we are happy
That too when we are happy for no reason.
If there is a reason and we have got ourselves
pivoted like the ruffling calender in the wind.
There is a happiness in travelling along
not knowing where we are going
but knowing that we are just going.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Stars and Dreams

The stars in the night sky
are just like our dreams.
Many of them might have died
a lonely death, but still
their twinkle travels afar
and amuses us
as if they are alive.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Despair, Hope and Laughter

On the shoulders of hope
Despair has a respite.
Hope is a breather for it too.
And like all other breathers
it has a momentary brightness
catching us unawares with
half asleep eyes and spooky poses.

We don't take our snaps in sad times
except when one is on the death bed
and there isn't a photo for the memorial.
Then we rush to click that last snap.

At all the other, less great moments too
we should have our photos taken.
Believe me, look closely
our faces are twice as funny
as they are in the normal times.

In more desperate times
when our minds are tangents
to the circle of insanity
our faces gain a funny shade.

This is true.
Listen carefully
there is laughter in the air
like the buzzing of a bee.

It ricochets right off your face
because when laughter meets the joke
it becomes bigger and bigger
like the growing insanity
and spans till infinity
in a leaky cosmic darkness.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


He pulls himself together
Breathes in the magnificence
And gets inspired all through
A wounded lion.
He has been this all his life
Wounded and inspired
Wounded and inspired.

He knows these moments
are the weakest links in the chain of thoughts.
But still does it, gets inspired
like the teenager sniffing coke
and enjoying the lightness it brings
as it traverses to the brain
numbing it for a moment.

There is an emptiness that follows inspiration.
An irrational trance of being lifted, uplifted.
Though, there is nothing like that for the day.
Next day is another quest-
for the inspiration , for that trance.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shut door

A door shut, can express better
than the meaningless talk. Of course it
all depends, on how fast the door is shut.
It can be a slow, boring process like a
lover's goodbye or an anxious brisk thing
like a torrid summer affair.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Falling apart

Your world and my world
and of course, the whole world
are falling apart every moment.
While waiting for this event
we can do so many things
and build a nice disconnect
with our expectations.

We can share our schooldays' memories
Those teenage love affairs included.
Jokes would be just great.
Chicken soup for the souls
-more than welcome.
Nature might be a good cure.
Laughter with 0.5 percent alcohol
is the best tonic .
Smoking things out is not bad either.

On the contrary pacing
as outside the operation theater
or as a confused passenger is not advisable.
Remember, we are not at all anxious
about this falling apart business.
It just happens in the natural course.
Take it cool, as fixing your world needs
only you and it would wait for you
like a fallen angel
like an angry wife.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dead hopes

In ruthless abandonment
lies the carcass of hope
in the afternoon sun.
Dead hopes are infectious
They need to be scavenged
Completely and thoroughly.
Surgically and smoothly.
The eyes, plucked
Skin, peeled
Intestines, noodled
Flesh, swallowed
Blood, dried up
Leaving only a fading mark
on the deserted sidewalk.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Turned over and overturned like the calender pages
With time everything we are, just ages.
Over the years, those small frustrations sum up
and glisten as golden memories that we look up.

We are defeated to within the perimeter of influence
and wallow in the ripples we create, taking pride
reading and re-reading the glory, we assure ourselves
of the contentment about the right things we did.

We are provincial optimists, hoping and groping
Finding joy in small things, marking them like the
timber to be felled, we go about experiencing.
Infinite of infinitesimal things there are!

There are flashes of bird's eye view at times
but we reject them for want of peace.
We are bound within the fringe
of the light through magnifying glass.
Out of tempest of youth we cross over
but soon we move into focus with light
around us and within us.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Come, hang yourself

That is what you are
and that is what you will be
a fly stuck in jaggery
in a cloying bondage.

Once in a while you metamorphose
into a free bird with a will to fly
but you go a distance and are brought
down by an innocent shooter.

You are that fly again and start over.

when will you give up trying?
We are all waiting here
deep in the gluey gloom
Come on. Come over.
Freedom is an illusion even in the open sky
with its endless traps.
Come, hang yourself to this pivot
and let the breeze vacillate you between infinities.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


The cupboard smells of naphthalene
In the corner there are letters
"Open with a smile", written on their lips.
The windows are open like a dead man's eyes
and the sunlight slants forming a shadowy mesh
crawling to the opposite wall.

He abandoned the world for good.
He was never happy with the things.
Look, he forgot his glasses
He might be gone forever.
Must have walked himself into an accident.
What do we do now.
The fridge must have something to eat.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Paper clown

I will think of funny things
and write them down.
On paper, I will be
just like that clown

Instead of a splotchy attire
there would be naked words
Just the things needed
for a cloaking imagination.

I will look out of the window
and create something that's hard to chew
It might turn out that the only person laughing
would be me and me alone.
But don't look away
steady your gaze
because I ought to be funny.
There is no other way, the quivering
would escape my vocal chords.
Other than this.
Other than bliss.

Free verse

Long long ago and so long ago
there was something called rhyme
It did something.
I mean, it had to.
It was there for a purpose.
I forget its use now. But let us
just remember: it existed once.

Now it's Free verse
A balancing act under the gravity of its essence
that pulls it into a pile, around a
single line midway through the piece.
Carefully weighed punctuation and
well crafted words are needed
to maintain that fine balance.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I can't say I remember you all the time
but, some days when as a dried leaf
I traverse those roads
I think of you.
And as the breeze unfurls the evening
I remember your hair
flying into my face.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


What use are the visions of a dying man
even if they are about a happy place?
In the silence between sobs
he mumbles with excitement
and the sobs rise in pitch
drowning his faint voice.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The buzz around bread and butter keeps me away
from the poetry in life.
Lately I realize that poetry is
for sleepy afternoons and dimly lit evenings.
The blazing mornings need something else.
Something un-poetic.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hang on

Too many people tried to push you out
of that crowded city bus onto the road
Do you remember what you did then?
Just hanged in there on a loose foothold.

There were times when you were snubbed
right when the confidence started dwindling.
You wanted then, to withdraw yourself
from that moment and from the world
into a shell of disconnect.
But that was not what you did.
You stayed. You played.

You were never tired of hanging on.
Never lost out on dignity.
Never backed out on the
little things that you promised.
A smile here and a smile there.

Smile:that was your strength in hard times.
An inward smile and an outward smile.
A smile to yourself and to the world.
A smile to reflect and reflect off.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Table Talk

At the canteen table we sit
like the arrows in a quiver.
Leaning in different directions
against the circle of truth.

Various things we talk
and fragment each others opinions.
We talk big things
Good, Bad and God.

Each day we start off on a similar premise
but reach a different shade of conclusion
As if we are going about a
single brush stroke each time.

At this rate when will the painting be complete
on the canvas of time, always wetted
by the sea of past.

The present is a shoe lost to the sea
dangling for sometime on the waves of recent past
but quickly receding into the vastness.

What are we doing then at the table?

Just throwing stones as we walk past the sea
to create ripples that would reach
the things beyond our speech.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Guided Tour

The Nawab escaped through this hole.
And the Begum through that one.
They went to Delhi nonstop.

Isn't this litter here?
No no. Not at all.
This was a big chemical cover up
for a treasure map.

Did some one find it?
Some tried but they died.

What about the Government?
Did it do something?

OK.The tour is over.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Convoluted Memories

How do you measure
the range of sadness
or the extent of happiness
other than tagging them
with available imagery and
shelving them as memories.

Memories lose color and fall off
as flakes of white wash on the wall.
The imagery stays with you as
a dejavu, but the context is lost
as we rumble along with our linear lives.

What about people in the war zone
devoid of an escape route?
What is the imagery they would tag
their few happy memories with?
Will they sift the surroundings and
rag-pick an unblemished image?

With almost a constant
reconstruction and redestruction
their lives are in a half finished state
like the heritage monuments
withered by the sun and the wind.

Their memories might be convoluted
where the distance between happiness and sadness
is not years of normalcy but
a calculated reach time of the bomb shell.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Under Control

What is impossible, changes with time
and we attribute new powers to god
saying, obviously he can do this.

Sometimes we pray for impossibilities
but at times we are anxious
about their very plausibility.

There should be a prime mover,we profess
else the universe would become
like a giant wheel gone out of control.
Only with more degrees of freedom.

We like to hear answers that soothe us
for any sort of question. A soothing
one is the suitable one. We just need to
to be told, everything is fine, under control.

Yes under control, under one flag
of concentrated optimism
fluttering atop a hill
of our able feeble bodies.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


There are moments that are
tasteless like the cold food.
They pass through you
but are not worthy to be relished.

They are not even contemplated upon.
We reflect only when we have an inkling
that there is some answer.
Somethings are abrupt without any answer
lets say death, about which
we stop thinking midway of mourning.

Catharsis is essential in this world
We have to set aside so many things
even ourselves at times.

We can cut out these moments like
the censoring for family viewing and
portray a discontinuous broadcast.

Nothing to worry.
Better leave things to imagination
It is even better to hope for fatal errors
Which can set things right in a quirky way.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Under my bed
Dostoevsky is becoming Dustoevsky:
gathering dust to become
a real classic.

Feverish Gibberish

In the doctor's office
the same old calender hangs
with the baby holding a steth.
It warps in the wind
and the baby winks at
the unhealthy me.

I go inside and check
the doctor's pulse
and ask him
why hasn't the baby grown?
He asks me to lie down and says
I am alright. Perfectly alright.
He hands me a slip carefully
like the cheating paper in an exam.

I take quick steps towards the door as the baby
crawls out of the calender and tries
to grab my neck with the elongating
cord. I remember his head.
Too big for his body.

I reach the drug store and the candies
smile at me but the lady is irksome
as I unwrap one in my mouth without asking.
Mom is paying the shop keeper with silver coins
and the reflection is hurting my eyes.

We finally walk home in the hot sun
and then I lie down. There is a ruckus all
around me with people carrying saws
and I make music with cluttering teeth.

Suddenly there is a chill on my head
and the baby goes back
to the fluttering calender and
the saws are powdered to dust.

The receipt flies high in the breeze
and makes its way into her hands.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Guardians of Culture

There are sticks and stones
for the unbroken bones.
For, this valentines again
they are coming.

They may marry you off without
giving a date for consummation.
Please go ahead in the bushes
right after they leave.

They are the guardians
of cultural virginity.
They like resewing
after every tear.

Their lives are like empty vases.
This activity once a year would
keep them occupied.
It is cathartic too
for their bad love lives.
They can perform only on the roads.

What would their future be?
Would their resumes say
how many couples they have married off?
May be more sophisticatedly
this is called community work.


Does narrating death take it
out of our minds? or
Is it just reminding ourselves
that we are together in it?

A throbbing life or death
There is gasping for breath
An excitement of each kind
When they take over in full.

Life meets death like a child
touching the image in a pond.
There are ripples that take
time to settle down.

When we look into each others eyes
are there infinite images of life and death?
Informing us about the helplessness
and blurring us into relationships?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Under Construction

The rooms are gently cold
with a smell of wet cement.
Patches of drying water
are making faces on the walls.

In the corner, a smiling brick
is getting plastered forever.
An echo of satisfaction
hangs humming in the air.

Vague designs are drawn
on the roughly plastered walls.
Nail marks of love
forming waves of happiness.

There are no cracks
as with the just found love
and the walls are rough
with the initial passion.

Dreams enter the walls
along with the air.
and then they wait
in silence.

Recession Writing

Benjamin is not all smiles these days
He frowned once in January
at The Inauguration.

He is now doped with bail outs
and in that trance he walks about
trying to reach all of us.

The credit limit on my plastic's halved
Some of my colleagues went non existent.
The banks have grown lank.

We spent the lavishness away
hope is all the change that's left.
These are hard times with no bonus.

Just some more time darling.
I promise we will definitely go
and buy that gold and platinum
blended like us.

Yes I do.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Extra Covers

It was April's prime
with all the mangoes waiting for us.
We just had to finish
that week of exams.

To carry the pad and the pencil box
We would select the grandest
of the Bombay Dyeing carry bags.
Grand covers gave us confidence.

While some of us cruelly gagged
the mouth of the pad
with the fat geometry box.
few, just carried
the bare pads, with pens
stuck to the palate of the clips.
That was a sign of callousness
Of a rebel, Of a genius.

Things eased up by the final day
when most of us parked in a friend's house
and watched yet another release
of the movie "speed".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Smiles are sealed envelopes
containing words that can devastate
or those that can bring joy.

Unaddressed letters worry us more
We pry them open with frantic hands.
as we suspect something's wrong.

Truth flashes occasionally
like the golden tooth hidden
underneath that smile.

Like the gargoyle on the facade
smile ages beautifully.
And time tries to breathe life into it
to cover itself in meaning.

Friday, January 30, 2009

We the people

So we are individuals
capable of only few things.
like jumping traffic signals
to start with.

OK, now don't get us wrong.
We do have a heart
It's only next thing to stomach.

Sometimes, there is
an awkward silence
when we are cornered
for the lack of humaneness.

Don't judge us;
but being humane these days
costs a lot.

Indifference also comes costly
I should admit.
You are held inhumane and
in that guilt-filled
precarious moment you are
forced to pay for it.

Please be humane
Else you might be mugged into it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Never too late

What if everybody goes out to help?
It will just clog the network.
Only weapons can be mass minded
Not us. We are individuals.

We are fragmented inside
like the bodies carried
in the clean white cloth.

We coexist in the shackles
Of helplessness and little freedoms
we could touch the ceiling anytime.

Our empathy for others' suffering
varies inversely with the
distance from television.

"What can we do now?"
"It is their fate"
You and I may sigh.

But somewhere, there is
a foot note of humanity
saying "Never too late".

Friday, January 23, 2009

Long Weekend

Long weekends are like the
new pair of trousers in our teens.
We grow out of them quickly.

All through, we are more languid
like a sailor
wearing two life jackets.

We have lot of plans.
And like fresh popcorn
they are light in weight and jumpy.

Finally, things fall into place
on the bed though
as we try hard to stay awake
even on national holidays.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


In the darkness of despair
hopes are wingless
like the glow worms.

There are roads out of misery
but the lamps are dimmed
around the sharp turns.

Total darkness is soothing at times
but dim light is disturbing
like the uncertainty of future
always hanging there, but never becoming.

Mostly, we have low voltage hopes
we reduce them further
so that success dazzles us more
with enough light for a life time.

We capture such moments
Assume wings to our hopes
and go higher, diminishing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Butcher

The bread with the jam spread
reminds him of the fresh flesh
washed under the hose.

His newborn child is brought to him
and he worriedly examines
the tenderness of her neck.

He sometimes wonders
if God was a butcher himself.
rearing well before reaping.

Afterlife was a mystery to him.
The chicken is never
off the hook and walking again.

On the wooden blocks scarred since years
There are many knife marks.
Some are deep ridges, formed
while handling the tough ones.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Once upon a time

mysticism used to reside
in the thick forest cover.
It is lost now, in the
corridors of high rise towers.

Fear is shrunk into a room like us
and it is concentrated enough
to affect our weak hearts.

A mystic jingle used to be heard
from the wilderness.
But now its buzz competes
with that of the calling bell's.

The world has minisculed itself
along with the hope.
There is a slack we feel, prior
to reaching the other end of the rope.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Living Shadows

The warrior wouldn't sleep
without killing someone everyday.
It is a daily ritual
like the brushing of teeth.

Yesterday's Palestinians become
Today's Gazans.
And today's Gazans
Tomorrow's no one.

The right and wrong are defined
as clearly as the borders.
Ever changing and adjusting.

Who are these who are still staying
on that strip, stripped off everything
They might just be shadows
unperturbed by the bombshell.

The shrapnel is draining less blood now.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The fog is skirting away
and warmth is on it's way.
Lips ached to smile in the cold;
They are waiting now
to whisper the stories untold.

Another spring would pass through us
weathering a withering spirit.
We would be ready to take the heat
while longing for the next upbeat.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Age is such a cruel thing.
The gashes of a life time
are brought to the surface
in those beautiful wrinkles.

There are countless corrugations
on hands, legs and everywhere
and in that crooked smile
there is a dissipation of helplessness.

The memory of the first wrinkle
stays long with us.
It joins the league with
the other first times in life.

Soon time takes over and rusts the
smooth edges of the polished mirror.
The embellishments are blurred now
but the central essence is reflected off.

Tied Down

There is enough laziness in him
but he enjoyed cruelty at times.
During the growing up years he was amused
by the struggle of the ant he played with.

But now, sitting at his desk
like unattended luggage, he thinks
of that ant's struggle to freedom
which was instinctive rather than idealistic.

Ideals, he thinks, are for humans
who are mangled by the gears of life.
Ants appear simple in their puny form
which is never too heavy, to be disposed off.

They still die with the same twig that he once used
But now he is less amused with their plight.
He finds himself tied down to a forward march
to store food for the rainy season.