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.