Saturday, December 25, 2010


memories of you
like ashes still rise
clouding my sun 
yet they don't stop the light
from shining through
that is the reason
why they never die

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Back to surgery

It's been 18 months since I blogged. Not that I was too averse to writing; it's just that the latent reality called life took me through completely unchartered territories - some great, some amusing, some bah-forget-it. The fact is, here I am, back to befriend the personal written word. After all, the written word, unlike the ones spoken with callous concern for truth, is more believable. It stays, even if you erase. No matter how far I stay away from it, no matter how hard I evade it, I'm drawn to the written word. Right now I feel like the cardiac surgeon who found his misplaced scalpel. Once again, I can pry open the emotions from the unlit corners of my heart. Well, that reminds me of a question I’ve been dabbling with for a while. Can a cardiac surgeon, after having seen the innards of an ailing heart, ever be romantic? Imagine a cardiac surgeon saying "I love you from the bottom of my inferior vena cava..."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blood on the School Floor

I heard him first on a Sony walkman. No, not today’s sleek, MP3 playing gizmo, I mean the ol’ cassette playing black brick. I was in the high school. And my friend who owned the “from-Dubai” walkman also brought along the “from-phoren” tape of Michael Jackson. I remember, during interval, the classroom almost erupting into a fight for the headphone. After all, Michael’s music had a trance like quality. It was different from the Beatles and Abba and Boney M. Was it his virginal feminine voice, or was it the dance-inducing music? I would never know. Nor would any of my contemporaries.

I grew up. To Pre-degree. MJ had by then inspired many wannabe moonwalkers, break dancers. Me included. Tall, lanky guys went one step further, sported curly hair and tried hard to speak in cackling, effeminate voice. Some of them were nicknamed Cycle Mackson. Our ‘bad’ footsteps still had verve even while walking back to the bus stop. No telling how many men of my age would have sprained their legs trying to practice moon-walking.

Few years later, when I started earning, I brought home a Philips Powerhouse – the first purchase in my life with my own money. Along with it was my dream-come-true possession - the cassette called Dangerous. If the album cover was an enigmatic collage of art, the music begged to be different. The lyrics never mattered as long as the thumping music rocked the neighbourhood. I remember my widowed mom, who was touching her 50s, after pleading with me to turn down the volume, sitting on the sofa and unknowingly tapping her feet to the rhythm of Black or White.

That is MJ for me. The musician who forced a dance even out of the most wooden legs.

Agreed, I would have smirked with the rest of the world when he went under the scalpel again and again and again. But then, I know MJ will be having the last laugh now; for bringing about an unalterable plastic surgery on the ethos of a whole generation I am proud to be part of.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hostage Monologue

Please don’t point
that gun at me.

I can crystal-gaze
looking into the barrel
and see my future
I see blue skies
and moonlight
mountains and
meadows. I feel
warm hugs and
stolen kisses.
I taste flavours
that will never be.
I hear heartening claps
and footsteps
of my great

That barrel
is a time machine,
I see my past
laid threadbare.
Of friends and school bells
my favourite blue plaid skirt.
Exam halls and first love
Mama’s dal
and dada’s eyes.
I see them all
looking into that
unpitying barrel.

Please don’t point
that gun at me.
It’s a tunnel with
no light at its end.
Here, let me put
this flower into that barrel.
It’s wilting
but it carries
the fragrance of my lover.

Please don’t point

(This was written right after the Mumbai terror attack)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Second Life

I’m a ghost.
But, unlike regular ghosts
that you’ve heard of,
you can see
and feel my presence.
I work, earn, play
feed, drink
befriend/ scare people,
make them laugh/ cry.

But still I’m a ghost.

Mirrors cannot reflect me
and there is no fire or
smoke when I smoke.
You can’t see me in the night
and I make a fast exit
from my daytime existence
even before you ask
“where you vanished?”

I dangle from
the dust-laden cobwebs
preying on unsuspecting dreams.
I feed on them
till they wither and dry up
and turn them into
stickier cobwebs.

This mansion I built
is dilapidated.
Moss and paint flakes
hold on to the moist walls.
Pedestrians still look
at this grand mansion
and ask “I haven’t seen him,
is he for real?”

That’s true.
Nobody sees me
when I choose not to be seen.
And I see nobody
when the choice is not to.

The Sun is rising
along with it a thousand
daisies are blooming.
I bundle up the sunrise
and daisies and laughter
into a hidden recess of
the hidden mansion
and change back
into the ghost
that I am
before I get late.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wet Freedom

It has been pouring
in the city.
The whole day it poured
cats and dogs fell
from the dank sky
on to damp city
growling barking
meowing yelping
from the overflowing
drainage and
sinking streets.
A butterfly
on the sidewalk
wings water-stuck
hiding between the fallen leaves
and hurrying footsteps.
Birds preen their wet feathers
the shivering
gulmohar leaves
wet their feathers again.
A woman hurriedly walking
tries to loosen
the wet Nike Tshirt
clinging to her bosom.
Buckets of cloud
prepare for the next mourning
while the city celebrates
its dependence.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Grey and knitted
branded Monte Carlo
patiently waiting
inside my ol' wardrobe
for summer to die.

Oh, how I hate death
and winter.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Where am I rushing to...
After all,
it's the same Sun
I will stay.
Let the Earth
move around me
if it wishes so...


I will go on forever, or so I thought.
Sitting at the helm of the ship
I couldn’t miss the leak
letting the sea in.

I won’t go on forever, or so I thought.
Sitting at the helm of the ship
I couldn’t miss the shore
fast rushing in.

I, on Thursday, July 10, 2008, 8:40 PM

How do I explain what I am thinking?
As words fail me, all I can do is
ask Brecht to do the honours...

THE LOVELY FORK - Bertolt Brecht

When the fork with the lovely horn handle broke
It struck me that, deep within it
There must've always been a fault. With difficulty
I summoned back to my memory
My joy in its flawlessness.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

At the end of it all

The clock has gathered momentum
I am hanging on to the long hand
Trying hard to break the spring.

Seconds tick with a deafening roar
A thousand noisy robots
have invaded my sunshine fields.

Gigantic ant legs march along
from the decrepit temple of ambition,
crawling on minute minutes.

The rhythm of the magpie’s wings
syncs with the frozen hour
in the unearthly joggers’ park.

Give you a second?
Sorry I don’t have any.
You missed my train of thought

Nothing can stop me now
I’m chiming to the alarm bells of joy
from the cemetery of dreams.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Time Fighter

Be at the right place at the right time
I was told.

So I rushed
trying hard never to be late.

I tried so hard, at times

I came in little too early.

Beating the clock
is never so easy
when you are the first hand
trying to be the second.

I can be the sunflower
that was harvested
before the bloom.
I can be the one
that wilted
before the harvest.

The choice got to be mine.

The river doesn’t know
where it is
at the right place
or at the right time.
But flow it must
with all its zest.


Winter chimed early in the night.
The candle shivered, scared of the dark.

Its terrorized shadow wheezed
and waltzed in shortened steps.

Melting wax, now hot
overflowed, now cold
clung to the rusty old cot
in gasps of disbelief.

The wick, bent against time in shame
looked at the shallow depth of wax beneath
and sputtered in a reverie of helplessness.

A hand, a whiff, a blow…

The night claimed its prize.
The smoke, though, pervaded
with pride.

Outside, the first dew drop
streamed down the blade of grass
and smiled.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Night of the Phoenix

No love can
bind me down
I’m too old for that.
No fire can
burn me down
I’m too cold for that.
Pray, little soul
for, if the Sun should rise in the morn
I can grow back my wings
and fly and soar
above your

Thursday, November 08, 2007


The Sun forgot to rise in the morning. Inside the filthy cage I heaved, as the outside world bypassed or passed me by through the serpentine green road. No bystanders, except for a wingless dusty grey pigeon that had been eyeing me voraciously and the eyeless cat that held its paw on the bird’s tail.

The rib cage was brittle, yet, it was too strong for the bird to break in. My thousand legs stretched with an arthritic yawn as I swallowed in a millennium of anguish steeped in anger. No, please don’t call me Gregor Samsa. I am just a nameless entity dazed by unblinking stars, a distorted digital rendition of a long forgotten painting.

Somebody strummed a guitar in the distance, a confused clamour in g and d. It rose above the dark carbonised air and shattered into a thousand unreflecting mirrors. I tried adjusting the ID tag cutting into my amorphous body (what ID tag, all it had was my ex-designation and a hyphen in the blood group column) but shards of notes still hung by it, swinging and sighing in contempt.

As the dusty grey pigeon scrambled up to me, I clambered out onto the serpentine green road, into a busy sea of high heels. One press, one jab, one squish. My disoriented thousand legs settled down for a game of bridge with the now rising sun, oblivious of the journey or the destination.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

(This poem by W.H. Auden was, I presume, read in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. Millions across the world would have read this and cried, reminded of the gut-wrenching raw emotions that pilfer out during the loss of a near one. After all, Auden wrote this as a tribute to his lost partner, and it didn't seeem fitting that the world just went on as usual. One of my all time favorite poems).

Friday, July 28, 2006


and reread
this line
37 times.
read it
just once

Sunday, July 23, 2006


A woman was complaining of thirst on the train. Even after quenching her thirst, she continued to complain about having been ‘so thirsty’.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dumb Charades with a stranger at Coffee Day, 4:33PM.

Raised eyebrows.
Raises the coffee mug, winks, smiles.

(Interruption by waiter with the bill)

Eyes saying goodbye.

Eyes saying goodbye.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Murdering Memories

I wake up at weekend evenings, like most people in this gargantuan city. During the week, I work like a maniac and insomniac, driving everybody around me crazy. It’s a mad rush for that lethal high of instant fame and money. Then, as the sun sets on Saturday, I slow down.

Mask peels off. Acting comes to a stand still. Broken wings and dreams silhouette against the neon boards. I preen my feathers and begin to hunt down my own solitude. The desire to become human takes over.

Crowded disco. Californification of Bangalore. Shots of tequila burning down a beautiful throat. The jangle of necklace. Nicotine stained soul seeking instant Nirvana. Royal stag toasts to bloody Mary. Adrenaline rush that justifies the price we pay to a world etched with anguish. Yes, the escape lies in love. It lies to Love. After all, love is all black and white. And the night is a riot of colours that blinds the eye. Ravishing red. Mystical magenta. Devilish yellow. Murderous maroon. Frantic fuchsia. Gruesome chrome. Poetic pink… Escape lies in drowning in this chiaroscuro of forgetfulness.

Weekday morning. Stolid sunrise. I wear the mask and sleep-walk to work, like most people in this gargantuan city.
(Written on 16/3/97)

Write Release

They call me a writer. I peddle words. Words of all shapes, sizes and meanings. I do this because I write for a living.

You know, it’s not that laborious a process. Words are hidden in the darkest crannies of my brain. I just close my eyes and wait. Though it’s pitch black, it’s easy to find them. Words are noisy. They clamour for attention, banging the walls of my brain incessantly. Unable to withstand the pressure, the walls cave in. The turbulence is so much, my nerves twitch and stretch, awaiting the impending mad rush.

Then it happens. One of the words begins to wriggle forward. It races through my nerves, flows to the tip of my hands and stops. Throbbing. Panting. I open my eyes, sees the pen releasing the word with an impact that shudders my self.

My nerves relax. Brain, exhausted, trembles with the orgasmic experience.

I look down to see the pristine white paper spread out before me. Spotlessly white like a virgin only a while ago, it looks up at me. Face writ with the pleasure of consummation and the fear of lost chastity. The word lies coiled in her belly. Like a stillborn, hoping to come alive.
I close my eyes again to conceive the next word. Wondering, whether I write for a living. Or for pleasure.
Who should I love more, whisky or my cigarette? Cigarette is like a pornstar; mimicked passion that exits without an apology. Whisky, like a surreptitious girlfriend, is heady in the beginning and reduces to a whimper in the morn. I think I love them both.