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.