Saturday, February 20, 2010


How ubiquitous it is!

Like destiny, it surfaces
on the highest of stages
and laughs at the serious turn of events.
As evidence to all our movements
to our collective knowledge and stupidity
it is there to caricature and let out that guffaw.
Its rhetoric is the toughest inquisition.
There aren't many questions.
Just that laugh forcing us to rethink.
In its light, we crisscross
in search of an escape route
as our wax wings melt
into a ball of self critique.

Death in the Afternoon

On a coir cot, he rests somberly
counting the wooden beams of the ceiling
and wondering if they would crack
A smell of death hangs in the air
through the half open door
For the Red Ox in the next room
is waiting to be skinned.

Its large eyes, pools of darkness now
have wet patches around
as a signature of helplessness.
With the head bent in submission
it now awaits the arrival
of the god of death.

His wife, unborn children
and some of his dearest friends
It has carried many to the fields
With each death they inched closer
as fellow victims.

Another unmarked grave this would be
and in the solitude of early hours
he would plow through the sadness
across all of life's seasons.

(Title for this post is same as Hemingway's fine novel "Death in the Afternoon" where the death is of a matador in Spanish Bull fighting)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Clock work

Different models of clocks
arranged to discipline there.
All stuck in different times
none of them show
the perfect ten past ten.
Amidst the unwound springs
and soldering guns, he sits
with a lens to his right eye
while the other scans the road.
Melodies from an old radio
do the time travel and transport him
to a quiet, away from all the bustle.
In that yogic trance he sets in motion
the stuck gears and corrects
the cracked displays.
We could watch him and construct
an anthill in our memories, he wouldn't care.
But a step into the circle of penance
his look is enough to drive us kids away.

Monday, February 8, 2010


In matters of love
I am as immature as a first kiss
My pointless thoughts follow every couple
like a shadow into the dark.
And I have weird questions
that often tend to litmus test
if it was love or just a hangup.
The result of a teenage fantasy
to make up a good story to tell
and fill in the gaping jigsaw
we all ended up as, by the end of college.

We graduated alright, but
we can't go on like this
with a void in our conscience.
So much that, we are in a constant search
for the remote signs of the soul mate.
School albums are dusted, friends of friends
contacted, lists are drawn and pictures referred to
And then we are all prepared for the plunge.

Vague stories about crushes are left hanging
ripe in the air, like the fruit yet to be.
All you have done is let them be.
These myths come to rescue now
as you meet her and say " You know
I admired you in college".

She might be the one or might not be
Might and might not be
is of a momentary intensity.
It is not a studied choice.
A blind intuition that is better than
no shoulder to rest each other on.

The distance between the two could be zero.
They could melt in each others arms
like chocolate and vanilla under the sun.
But in the journey forward
the tie up is back to back
and a lifetime to study each others eyes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hide and Seek

The cold throne of the deposed king
lies abandoned as a protected monument.
And at its foot is the dome of the court hall
half surviving, like the stories it witnessed.
On the other side, defaced figurines greet
an empty space between them, while the ornate
pillars and beams rest on each other
like the dead of an epic battle.
The Gods' faces look eaten away by a cannibal
and like the creation, are in a state of disrepair.
There are surviving walls of a temple or a palace
and on them a graffiti about forgotten love
sketched as an attempt to piggyback immortality.

My mind tries to reconstruct the grandeur
while history plays one of its ancient games
Hide and Seek, to mourn in solitude.
I am absorbed in the moist sorrows
written on the walls while a man with three eyes
(One hanging around his neck)
interrupts to say how good I looked
beside these ruins and I let him
before I am lost in them.

I can see a girl turned to the wall
and counting time, for me to hide in the world
before she seeks me like this.

(My tribute to all those poets who walked those ruins of Kakatiya grandeur in Warangal and empathized with the stories they contained)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Small World

It was home after school
Those four odd shops I visited
and a temple once in a while
That was my world.
Big enough for the small me.
And as expected, I grew up
into a different child
spanning the wings of my mind
to unknown boundaries.
And often, I take these
nostalgic routes to fantasy
and dream of the lost world.
One that is more beautiful than
the reality it's set in.
An image of the then dull phase.

Tell me, what is beauty if it is not short lived?
The ambiguity, that it might not survive
or I would not survive the onslaught of time
gives a chance to go over and
capture whatever I can.
And this is a continuous process
as I am being erased from a side
like a blackboard
after the lessons are learnt.

(Weak imitation/inspiration derived from Wislawa Syzmborska's "The Joy of Writing")