in the evening
after a long, tiring day,
we return not to windows,doors
halls , bedrooms, blank walls, taps, pipes, kitchens or washrooms,
one or more pairs of outstretched arms, like the branches of the mango tree in the courtyard,
warmly embracing your drooping shoulders and caressing your tired eyebrows…
human-birds seldom nest on branchless trunks.
Now that which used to frighten me does not anymore,
neither your eyes, nor your lips, let us start living.
Since I have mastered the art of lying, we have become equals,
under the good old roof of Life.
How about a cup of tea before the chit-chat?
The young man zoomed past my scooter,
evading the traffic signal.
The large, green bag clung to the lean boy, like a fatso on a speedy mission, swaying a bit, adjusting to the zig-zag motion.
Yes. Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread.
He multiplied and divided five, and even then remained twelve baskets of fine bread!
Little would have Christ guessed that someday an app will let the human choose from the bread ‘n wine list, delivered by a young boy, swifter than Elijah’s crow,
from kitchens of their choice.
That woman’s jars never ran out of flour and oil, in return for her hospitality towards the Prophet.
When the divine provides, it overflows, my grandmother says!
Even God knows that the deepest gratitude of humankind lies in the satiation of its taste buds. Hence, no food app runs out. After all man has turned quasi-divine.
Hunger has no limits, and knows no patience.
I prayed not for the bread, but for the boy:
God be with the provider.
Gifts of a Repentant, quasi Magus
Last day, I decided to clear my shelf of poetry.
I found the dead ones mummified and
the semi-dead ones barely breathing.
Initially, I wanted to dig a hole under the jackfruit tree in the backyard
and bury them.
But then they didn’t reek any foul smell, but had power enough to pump nostalgia.
I could not but gently caress them with my fingers.
Each of the poem which was not sent to any press or publisher
had a story to say.
Some were remnants of an anger which would have otherwise created a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal.
Some were homes to the sighs and sorrows which leapt outside my body and ran in search of a Mamma.
Some were treasure troves to the secrets which will never be featured in papers.
Some were born out of curiosity,
and many out of pleasure.
Some were as big as the length of my arm,
the others as small as the Eucharist, but enough to live on for seven days.
I gently took them out-
wrapped them in a soft, red cloth,
tied a silver ribbon across,
and hung them on the X’mas tree in the living room.
I could not find better gifts for the Lamb of God who was a friend to those who repented.
Yes, I buried my lost days in.
Planted a jasmine plant and decided to water it daily, and wait for the fragrance.
After saying goodbye…
I smile and wave at your shadow,
as it turns the corner of the street.
The black silhouette waits a bit, nods at me,
and then slowly leaves.
Afterwards I lie on the bed,
and nourish the fruit of loneliness.
It ripens as days pass,
and on the night you return for your next vacation, I slice and juice it.
I smile when you say, ‘Ah! The fruit is sweet’.
As you gulp it down in one go,
I start calculating the time for the next fruit of passion, to be juiced in the same old fashion.🍹
Now that you have turned deaf and blind
to my pain, I think I can start writing about us.
I refused to, till now, for fear of your anger and irritant moods.
What if I say something and lose that last inch of the spacious love we shared once upon a time?
But now that time has presented you wrapped in black and white, a figment from my past, that era I would call my best, the best of all that I ever breathed in,
I think I can let my heart hold the pen, and shade the broken vase of tulips.🍃
Finally, you be! ‘
Break my …
Do you know when people start breaking glasses, pots, pens and chairs?
It is when they know that there is not even an inch of their heart, which
is left out from being broken.💾
Suddenly if you call me,
after long days, weeks and years of absence, should I answer?
I would think twice, no even more, before putting myself at the risk of your voice.
That husky throat which was once light and love, has turned cold and dead for me. Should I harm myself once again, by igniting the soul to sharpen its ears to the ghostly deception?
Maybe, I will wait a day more, and still if you call, open just the pocket-window to let the air in, wafted with your lies.
I have kept a bag packed with all the words, one by one, which you left last time when you rushed out.
Let me see if I can squeeze that baggage out through the tiny hole. You may keep it in memory of a heart which you broke many times.🥀
Natural Do flowers bloom for the rendezvous with a couple of bees, before night enfolds the petals in countless dreams! What do the leaves whisper to each other, before those fall down, zig zag into the brown mud? Life is all that is murmured in between the sighs escaping from a mumbling pair of lips deep in conversation with the Spirit. The Knob 🏚️ By the time I picked up a few words to frame sentences like, ' the moon will hug us tonight', or 'the crickets may disturb our dreams', or ' the frogs still croak the good old stories', you had gone. I forgot that I'd become the door the moment you walked in. I forgot to lock myself up. I forgot that the world outside my coarse, rough texture, was beautiful, and that the sky would always beckon you. After all, I was only a creaking, old wooden plank, and you the strong breath in the divine nostrils. period. Father comes and leaves regularly
like my period.
once in a month- the
pain, cramps, PMS
all clubbed together –
and the final relief when it is all done;
yet, I cannot miss my period.
I am only close to fifteen.
father works somewhere,
two days away by train,
and earns for his
‘other wife and other children’,
as my mother mutters under her breath
when his stench fills the bedroom for a couple of nights.
father is a word which is strangely familiar to me.
I remember him
when I am on my period.
When love grows cold…
When love grows cold,
the world does not stop.
Those buses honk loudly,
cars over speed, and
trains chug on to their destiny.
The old woman who sells jasmine flowers at the market
smiles at you
toothlessly, as usual.
You walk the same roads-
the gutters hold the dark brown waters
from yesterday night’s rains.
You are greeted by the same trees,
the age-old ponds
Nothing has changed.
When love grows cold,
but only love .
it turns by itself into
wrinkles on your forehead,
even more grey hairs,
and sometimes transpose into stooping shoulders.
It manifests into forgetting to write letters,
and then to
half-closed eyelids staring at messages and missed calls.
It turns into bowed heads and frowns
plastered all across the lanes you walk back in the evening.
Cold love slips out as groans and sighs
as you climb the steps to your house,
It settles down in the plates left unwashed,
clothes strewn across a room
until someone else decides to wash it all.
Gradually it manifests in the pills
you take at night.
I have heard people say that
such left-overs of love
I guess it is true.
I have seen such people miss the rains,
and afterwards the cobwebs painted in rainbow hues
by the peeping sun.
I have seen cold love turning blind to colours,
and I have seen such hearts leave life on bed,
before trudging back to the loveless, lifeless routine.
stepping barefoot into the fire
which never burns young, green saplings,
i carried the nest of four eggs.
these are the remnants of your tabernacle,
where the sparrows had found rest.
and you replied,
After the virus,
we resumed our conversations.
Done with the old life, you said.
for a better tomorrow.
I looked into your eyes,
and wished those were a playful pair ,
like in the past.
The death toll and the sick in the hospital and at houses..
It is over.
The birds are chirping a new song,
ushering a new world.
You clapped your hands and jumped up laughing.
Strange that you resembled that six year old boy from an old album.
You opened the window and showed me fresh flowers and clear sky.
It was early in the morning.
Time for my morning walk, you said.
I jog everyday,
push ups too.
I am turning a new leaf.
You looked at me.
I turned in the gyre and found myself lost.
I looked around for you.
You are a fighter, but I know that you cant wield your sword in the whirlpool.
By the time I found you, you had walked a long way ahead.
Not once did you turn back.
Well, I am also turning a new leaf and
I am a new leaf
with old memories.
Kitsao: the story of a widowed mother of eight children
would have never turned
into our daily bread.
you kept on stirring.
a mamma can never sleep,
without feeding her eight precious sets of limbs and bones,
with manna from above.
maybe the youngest one would have slept off after wailing awhile,
if not for the Good Samaritan
who ran out to alert the neighbours.
yesterday was Mothers’ day.
i stood looking at my sleeping child,
and thought about your youngest one.
i looked at myself in the mirror and
i thought about you.
we may never meet,
we’ll never share the same time zones.
still both of us know that
all across the world,
because many mothers boil their hearts,
She learnt that for many, ‘becoming’ is in
a series of packings and un-packings.
She carefully folds her churidars, dupattas, saris, skirts, blouses and sandals,
arrange her books,
the night before she leaves for her husband’s place.
Then she comes home for a few days.
The night before she leaves,
she stuffs her beloved teddy and rag doll,
her box of colours and paint brushes,
and many more books
all scented in laughter, squabbles, sorry-ing and joy of her school and college days.
A few years later,
she packs up the albums,
from those half-naked -pampered -baby photos
to graduation day pics,
asks her mother for her kindergarten snack-box,
the one her dear Amma spends a whole night looking for,
and finally finds, washes and dries,
and carefully tucks in her bag,
the morning she returns to her husband’s place.
After many years,
she comes home.
She brings back all the books, photos, albums, brushes , paint boxes, guitar
and her teddy and the rag doll.
Her ten year old daughter laughs out aloud downstairs
sharing a joke with her grandparents,
as she unpacks all the memories in the room,
which once upon a time had shared her dreams.
One by one,
she takes them out,
and leaves them on her table.
The albums, she slips inside the draw
the books inside the book-shelf.
She knows that this time,
after the annual vacation,
she will leave empty-handed.
has taught her that some memories are better left
where they are-
and spacious enough
for spiders to build their homes,
and ants to climb over innocent dreams.