Monday, December 22, 2008

A much used maroon sweater

It's a chilly winter morning
The types I cannot imagine waking up at six
And getting into a school uniform.
And yet I did exactly so
Ten to twelve years ago
With sleepy eyes, a heavy head, cajoling mum
A hot cup of tea waiting for me
Bag packed by aaji and lunch made my mummy
Off to school after a wait for the public bus.
O what fun it was, hoards of students waiting at the bus stand
At six thirty those frosty mornings, Baba standing beside me
making small jokes, pointing a puppy here or there,
We dreamt big on those cold mornings, we still do.

And then the bus would suddenly come, and I would rush
Leave him behind and shove my way in the crowd
Once inside, wave him a smile again.
He would always wait a few minutes after I left
Lest I would jump back again for want of change,
Or a forgotten book,
Or with a frown say, 'no mood', I want to go back home
He would wait till he was sure I was safely on my way.

I would have by then lost my sleep
And get worried about the rounds of school
for getting late again.
We walked our way from the bus stand to school
and walked the way back, Reni and me.
And got scolded for taking a five rupee rick out of lazyness.

The PT sir would dye his hair once a month
to a startling, dazzling jet black
And everyday he coloured thus, I broke into giggles right on his face
After that running about the school campus,
I would finally slag up to the class.

Friends would smile that fond smile that said, 'Late again!'
I would scamper for a text book
And Reni or Rupal or Sanjana would slide their text towards me
We would push and shove the book on our sides and thus would start a game;
And giggle and talk in whispers and pens till teacher said 'ssshhhhh'
Then after the lunch break, we would get rid of the maroon sweaters
Knot these on the shoulder or the waist
Or simply dump them on the bench and gossip about at length...

Gone are those early mornings of rush that I try to get hold of even now
Those were different winters, this is a different cold...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tired words

Tired words, used and re-used;
It's a task to churn up something new
If 'new' at all exists... :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Death, you can't touch me
Till you kill me. Or my loved ones.
But then, you have a sinister smell and sound
That crosses the sea
From that vibrant city nestling the Arabian
to this soulful place lining the Hooghly
You have put us all on our toes,
Nerves tense, tension aimless
Sorrow, brooding, unanswerable questions.
Why do you need to kill
to teach a lesson?
Death, why don't you be good once in a while.
Spare. Be gentle. Let us live as we die.
Give us time to say Goodbye...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Poet, you mean creature
You pick up life's odds
and mask those under a coating of heavy words,
Words that are glossy, Words that are hollow
Words made big with intellectual humbug...

Poet, you mean creature
You make no difference to my miseries, my sorrows.
You lap up my misfortunes
And make money out of my death and grime.
Poet, you mean creature,
Leave my privacy to me...

Friday, October 17, 2008


It slowly eats away,
bits of my intestine, heart and veins
but most of it, my brain...

Anger, which part of me
did you nibble today?


Friday, September 26, 2008

Just go away

It's uncomfortable
fiddling with the past. And yet it's
nothing I can control.

If only memories
could die as completely as human bodies;
Rot or burn away.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Birthdays are happy days
You grow up, or think you have.
Reason enough to enjoy...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mr. Crow and Ms. Dove

It happened a long time ago
When a crow met a dove.
She used to coo, he crowed,
Soon they fell in love...

Mr. Crow took her out to lunch
And ordered the best of egg-crunch
Lady Dove gasped in disbelief
On seeing the death of prospective chicks...

She would have nearly fainted
Had not Mr. Crow fluttered in frenzy,
Made her sip some cool raspberry;
And call for a plate of millet cupcakes.

With a gulp of the cool drink
Lady Dove accepted their odd takes
And while she nibbled on the cupcakes
Mr. Crow ordered baked shrimp...

It happened a long time ago
That a crow met a dove
She cooed, He used to crow;
They never got out of love.


From nowhere

From nowhere came a smell
That I had smelt a long time back.
From nowhere came a memory
That I didn't suspect still existed...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Why do I still need you?

How unfair to give one blow after the other
to people who so believe in you.
You are skewed in your mercies and virtues
You are an unfair, unrepentant God.
Why do I still need you?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A windy evening

Dust, debris, papers, leaves
As if uncertain where to land,
came rain in bits and pieces.
A moment of destiny of forced togetherness
stranded strangers under a lonely tree;
A cup of tea that got cold a bit too soon;
A cup of wait, rather.
I still remember that windy evening...


Thursday, July 24, 2008


The words that we
catch and throw,
wait for and deliver-
Do these words make you smile
Or do they make you frown?
Do you believe they are meant for you
Or assume they are for someone else?
These words that we catch and throw,
Do you know where they go?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Walk down the street

Only walk down the street,
to know where you are placed.

On my way to Park Street the other day
I saw monkeys and jugglers lulled asleep,
High on hashish, or some such stuff,
Babies clinging, wriggling about like insects,
Babies so many, some sobbing unnoticed,
Some playing with mud and sticks.
Cooking pots and smoke on the footpath,
Old, desolate men still willing to live.
Dripping tarpaulins sloped on strings,
And water filled in yellow plastic tins,
Hands black with dirt and grime,
Filth accepted as wellbeing.

My sorrow is much less than theirs,
So is my contentment.
Only walk down the street,
And know where you are placed.

Potbellies of hunger

Potbellies of hunger;
Little palms of want, demand.
Whatever I give,
I know it's not enough...

A broken image

A broken image
of sounds and smells. I paint you;
a broken image.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My bittersweet being

The sweetness of nothing;
Sky and sound, silence and fury,
Flowers and smell;

Past and regrets,
Future and wants,
Present, thereby gone...

Sweet nothings and
bitter everythings;
My bittersweet being.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why summer is sour

That place without a name
Green and dark, just by the busy highway
Where we zoomed past without a halt...

Baby mangoes loomed there in summer slumber,
You should have slowed down.
I wanted to steal them,
Eat them sprinkled with chilly and salt.

Yes, we can buy the fruit, I know.
But stolen raw mangoes have a taste of their own...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

When you meet me

When you meet me Death,
Mind your manners. I would rather not
die sudden, alone and bloody.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Any children

"Any children? Polio drops..."
Said the woman on the door.
No. Not yet;
but touched to see a system on the go...

This is not the first time I have been asked, "Any children, we have come to give polio drops" by health workers walking door to door in the middle of a hot, sweltering afternoon.
Feels so good, so touched, can't express it enough.
I do swear at the 'system' gone all wrong, but I get mild and apologetic in my random, impulsive accusations everytime I remember the unsolicited bells in the middle of the afternoon and gentle inquiries from these women... Something is in place, something is going on afterall, in spite, or amidst all the corruption, red tape and controversies

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cover up!

Just as you flush after you shit,
Must you cover after you dig...

Children getting stuck in bore-wells left uncovered is becoming way too common.
Fodder for news channels, horror for the country...

Names that got famous overnight for reasons very callous: You may want to read this and this

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Say something

For all those who read
and tip-toe away. How about dropping
a hello, hi or bye???

(It would be much better and encouraging if all of u could leave your feedback than simply blog-hopping from Life rules to Haiku without ever letting in a word... :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In the heat of a stove,
And the cut of a knife you strive.
And yet you are called 'just a housewife'...

Woman's day brooding over...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Time is gone

Time is gone,
like the smile that fades
by the warmth of a tear,
like the smell that ceases after a snuff,
like the love that strays after a delight,
like the faith lost on a Godless night,
like the reminder of a sorrow-
Time is gone...


Thursday, March 13, 2008

We shall meet

Another day, another time
A different place, a new reason;
We shall meet.

Friday, February 29, 2008


I tore those letters a
long time ago in sixty-four small
pieces. I want them back.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Child talk

"Mosquitoes in America are little and small.
Indian mosquitoes are many and big.

Indian mosquitoes bite a lot.
American mosquitoes don't bite.
But sometimes, Indian mosquitoes come to America.
And then they bite".

Saturday, February 23, 2008


One end to the other.
A new begining. A new end.
Merry-go-round. Life!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We sat, all. Pretty, ready.
Our hand in theirs, flowers, designs;
the pungent smell of henna,
the green curves of genius-
strokes of beauty in a pasty finish.

Smooth dripped the cone
to form sensuous forms in split seconds;
Feminine, gentle;
Tedious, romantic.

We sat, all. Pretty, ready.
Today was the mehendi...


Saturday, February 9, 2008

My family of other animals

Budgies are expecting
again; lovebirds just don't want to
grow up. (Sigh... Sob... Sob...)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vanilla ice cream- cup or cone?
A dash of chocolate sauce,
A generous dash, at that-
An ice cream is almost spirituality frozen and formed,
The moments you eat, those moments are all your own...

Vanilla ice cream- cone or cup?
Whichever holds more, I say...
Sleep, the interlude between life and death
Sleep, the longing of a dream...
My meeting with myself
And also, with those long gone...
Sleep, the mirror of my being
Sleep, the stranger in disguise...
The gossip of my body-
Heart with the soul, mind with the unknown;
Sleep, the time I am reborn...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

As the leaf bid the tree goodbye
and fell in a sleepy frown,
Did it hurt and pain,
when it finally hit down?

As the leaf said goodbye,
Did it cry and talk with other leaves,
Who were still young and shy,
and could cling some more to the tree?

How was its final journey
from the branch to the ground
with those moments in sky,
swaying aimlessly in between;

Did the leaf cry,
When it bid goodbye?

What was with those eyes?
That cold look, that silent stare,
Smile maybe, or smirk somewhere
Truth hidden, or lies not bared...

What was with those eyes?
They took me unawares...
It's dark and down,
but for the candle there.
The soft white glow
With a bit of yellow
And a streak of blue,
Is all for me, just me.

But for the candle,
I would have been so alone...

White dabbled in pink,
Or pink dabbled in white...
A shade of blue,
A hint of green,
How about some cheerful yellow
And a drop of orange sunshine?
A creamy blot of red,
A brown to mellow it down...
Paint your life bright and nice;
Get a pinch of each colour...


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Look around

Open your eyes, look around-
see the dead souls, dark, dull, poor;
they sleep and beg and cough, sneer...

Dust and death for company,
Swears, rot and decay for dinner,
Rags for cold, bags for pillow...

Open your eyes, look around-
Don't you think there are
two species of humans?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What's with the tea?

What's with tea, so unique?
Sis says, "Milk, water, sugar only;
Dodo, that's all to tea"...

You sure it's that simple?
Why can't I make a fine cup, ever...
What's with tea, so unique?


Tic-tac-toe, pretty sore
I lose all the time, all the time,
Tic-tac-toe, pretty sore...

Friday, January 18, 2008

How are you, Fr?

How are you doing, Fr?
Better get alright soon, sooner...
Missing the double moron, really!

Sooner the better

Suck ice cubes, salt, pepper
gooseberries and a wedge of lemon,
Be a mom, sis; sooner the better...

Us, We...

February 24, Veg frankies
and cheese, my old school, us; We...
I love destiny.

A morsel of me

A morsel of me,
A bite of you. What a clutter
A fight can do...


I smiled at destiny

I smiled the other day
at destiny. Who were she to be,
If I were not me?

-Gauri Gharpure

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pokat bhukhyo nathi ne
Popat tarsyo nathi...
I am happy, ma;
What about you...

Little by little

Little by little we grow;
to lose it in a second to
anger and envy....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The smell of summer

The smell of summer and
the hint of rain- You and me
down the memory lane...

Where I saw you last?

Where I saw you last?
Perhaps in the crowd there ...
Perhaps here and now and everywhere,
Each time I try to wipe out the past...

You and me

You and me
Lock and key- each a unique entity;
Yet what's a lock without a key?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Molested in Mumbai

Midnight revelry turned lewd.
Unrestrained, uninhibited...
But what's new?
Every woman has been molested.

For more, read this and this

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I love low-cost planes

In three hours flat,
Can reach the home I most love,
I love low-cost planes

Still around?

It's been long, isn't it?
Even the past seems too distant
to be accorded the status of a 'memory'.
By any chance, are you still around?

White flowers

Flowers must have bloomed in the backyard,
A white carpet of luxurious growth,
A fragrance of abundance.
Sis kept them in the glass bowl,
And giggled if I pinned those to my hair
('You look silly' she said.)
Snakes crawled under the bush,
Still Indi walked there fearless.

Even without sis and me today,
Those paras flowers still grow in the corner...
And snakes still crawl beneath;
And Indi still walks as fearless.
Baba still sleeps all day long on all his days off
And watches all the soaps that aaji sees.
Aaji, on her part, still shouts as shrill,
in between the puja each morn.
Life goes on...