Sunday, October 31, 2010

It can only be fine

Mistakes are a thousand eyes that we possess.
They do not wait for any instructions.
Some of them strain to look at us
Many are blatant with their eye contact
and few just look away at other's
and exchange pleasantries
as to when and how they happened.
We move on and make progress
The thumbs of success are cut off and worn
as garland around the necks.
Mistakes follow us as closely as shadows
Only a careful askance could detect them.
Only in certain lights. May be only Mr.Holmes.
We reel under their pressure
Always present by the side, like mortality.
Hanging onto us like a mobile saline
pierced into the skin and taking up space
drop by drop.
There is a jigsaw that we are part of
Past and future seem misfit to each other
and wait only for a custom made present.
There is nothing better than what
the shades of our mistakes define.
Using them, our portrayal can only be fine.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I snuck a peek at Uncle Sam's low necked daughter
sitting like Monalisa at the visa counter—
Mumbai, off the Arabian coast—
She wore in her neck
what I could only place as
the Renaissance regalia.
She was very chirpy
behind the bullet proofed glass wall.
Beyond the arabesque interiors
were the stenographers and CIA agents.
Panting about and discussing my entry
into the promised land.
I adjusted my non-existent tie
and looked closely in her eye.
I found only love, uninterrupted love.
Such love, that the breakup she offered—
A well printed, stamped and attested pink slip
A set of questions about my allegiance to world peace—
didn't mean much to me.
I walked about as if
I was chosen to go to Mars.

Only later the gloom closed in on me.
A month later, like a delayed monsoon.
I would make repeated calls to my soul
which migrated without any visa.
Friends across the seas
would make those long distance calls
before realizing nothing could be worked out
because of all the accumulated distance.
The emptiness they created for me
in their apartment, wouldn't pay the rent.
Then one day, the calls stopped.
Nothing would get them back
till the so called storm ebbed.
Meanwhile, I watched TV
and my beard grew like the
length of a daily serial.

I became oblivious to the material pursuits
and indulged in mechanical worship of God.
Nothing mattered to me
The Iraqi toll or the Afghan deaths.
My home slowly transformed into
a detention centre and parents
the conventional clinical psychologists
To pass the time, I jotted down some poetry
meaningless scribble and people awed
to cheer me up —"Poor fellow, let me throw a smile." —
I confess, I wrote nothing against Uncle Sam
or his sons or daughters.
My fear that the Japanese made TV
would be bugged to spy on me.

Then, he appeared, the Hermes
of this little Greek tragedy.
Searching for my home frantically
he delivered the missive from Uncle.
And it read

"Found to be alien
Not to set foot here
Deep space mission in two years
Be ready for the lift off"

(Courtesy: Seinfeld, George Orwell, US Consulates : Chennai, Mumbai)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Amidst the rugged growth it stands wide-eyed
Its quivering muzzle holds an unformed voice.
The pearly eyes scan the path for any danger
and the ears strain for the slightest sound.
Now it grazes and now it looks
Trusting no one it is always on the run.
There is wild croaking of frogs
Amphibians desperate for mating.
This doesn't drown the predator's signature.
I walk past the deer looking up at me
and listening intently to the rustled leaves.
A few steps further, in uneven shadows
there are dogs huddled in a circle.
Their bellies swollen from hunger
they seem ready for an attack.
Only silence reigns in these woods
an ecosystem of noisy life.
Like a nightmare that's routine
the chase is never recorded.
Later, and only later, I would be pulled up
in my dream where I reach a Cul-de-sac.
There is nowhere I could go.
I only pound hard at the dreamy wall
and it dissolves into next day's worries.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Did I mention, you are faceless?
You could hold against this denial
a life, full of achievements .
Scrapbooks you maintained as a kid.
Report cards, best student certificates.
The prizes won for quizzes and elocution
Backstage choir and fancy dressing
Neat attire and polite behavior.
Group photographs, greeting cards
Both new years and birthdays
Positivity of triumphs, gravity of failures
Lightheartedness of the heydays
Sweaty palms of anxieties.
Nothing saves you from being stereotyped.
All that was dreamt of becoming, boils down
to this nightmare of loss.
A dissolution of identities
in the face of silly existential queries.
The world that you live in
is a narrow crack in a cliff of questions.
In that fissure there is only a shelter and
a struggle not to fall off the edge.
Of course, it doesn't stop raining outside.