Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I am..

The me that I am now is a stranger to me. Then I feel maybe not a stranger at all. Sometimes I am the cocoon around me and other times I am the soul inside of the cocoon. There is this cocoon and the world around me. Sometimes I am the crowd in my world and other times I am the lonesome world.

I am the lunatic looking for signs of me on the old trail. I left pieces of me at every mile. .. like the pebbles left as signs to find my way back to me. Sometimes I am those pebbles down the trail and other times I am the trail itself.

That part of me is long dead; then I realize it is very much alive. It lives just under the thin layer of my skin. It is there in my eyes, sometimes there caught in the net of those lines on my palm. Sometimes I am those lines on my palm and other times I am the me caught in that web.

I see myself sometimes, just a glimpse of me somewhere in the crowd. I stop and look for me…it’s a routine hide and seek. Sometimes I hide and don’t seek, other times I seek but I am not hidden.

Then I see myself in my eye and say, “When will you realize that I won’t come back?”

I think it will take me one lifetime.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

One Wasted Question

I don’t ask why?
It is one wasted question.
Has no answer for the days gone by

Why did he miss the bus?
Why did he catch a train instead?
They timed his ending.. why?
He lingered at the magazine wheeler
The glossy pages, the plastic faces
The murder and the gore
They called the newbie at bollywood a whore

Colors of their thousand worlds
Couldn’t eclipse his world back home
Many footsteps, voices in his head
Voices around him, footprints on his mind
Nothing could brake him enough ..why?

The locomotive whistled to him
Like a master’s signal to his pet
After a long walk through the day
It seemed to say lets close for today

The cell phone rings the bell
Silence screams for that freaky fraction
Unaware of the countdown
He blushes at the cheeky chuckle

The lightning brightness
Like the 1st white light
when the door to the Eden opens
the volatile moment stretches and yawns

splinters run like a freed pack
like a crystal replica of peace
thrown from the heavenly height
tried of the peace,
peace finds peace in unrest

Berserk train, plans gone berserk
The kid will wait at the closed gate
He will go unnoticed
As they showcase the train’s unplanned stop..

It is one wasted question.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Junior Jumbo Vada Pav

On my way to work I saw a shop flaunting these multiple signboards ‘jr. jumbo vada pav’. My day in the city had begun with a slight, but intensifying headache. I saw this board and asked my headache to be easy on me. Paradox. Mumbai is all but a paradox. Richest of the rich are absolutely miserly here. The poorest of the poor have nothing to lose and can give boundlessly.

The educated youth are unemployed and fed, overfed rather by their folks. The uneducated youth are enterprising and run a small workshop in the renowned empire of Dharavi. People have so much of a reason to hurry back home that without a slightest contemplation they lay their lives at the railway tracks.

Junior Jumbo Vada Pav!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Take it in your stride

take it in your stride
that tear pricking your eye
take it in your stride

grace and pride
don't lay it down
in the debris
don't let them find your hide
they cuffed your hands
on your forehead
they stamped the cult brand

take it in your stride
his indecision and your redemption
take it in your stride

don't lay there slain
his mirth can't bring you that tear
rise from the ashes
light the darkness of his den

take it in your stride
his every nail in your cross
take it in your stride

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I feel like a God’s trump card

I feel like a God’s trump card
Just that the time is never right
When things get sloppy
When the tide runs in a schedule
High tide follows the low
And the game goes on
Round after round,
player after player
card after card
The mechanical progression,
It runs on a flowchart
Spades walk in a line
Then my God wakes from his slumber

The other cards of the pack
Together they stand
The Spades, they form a club there
And the diamond ones team together

But I am me, a trump card
Just that the time is never right!

Friday, December 07, 2007


Sometimes I feel so complete.. I feel I have reached there. Then there is this tug on my sleeve .. Life.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Poetic Justice

We need some poetic justice
The hell to break lose
His haven is shredded
the walls of his house
the flower beds,
a heap of thin lines
We need some poetic justice
The hell to break lose.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

let the thought be

One moment I want to write
then I think I don’t want to
let the thought be
somewhere just a passing memory

let the thought be
like a rusted anchor
of some sunken ship
forgotten. green moss
paints it green.

let the thought be
like the dead guy
waiting in that vacuum
at the start of the aisle
Waiting for his God
to make up his mind

Friday, November 30, 2007

The City Men

The City men, the million run down trains;
They are a stampede of mechanized brains,
They are a mesh of dead cables,
They are shameless, ugly; empty thought bubbles.

Their grouped conscious, the mob’s unified mind
The zombie-like metal muscles, on the deadpan face
The one face, of the herd, when God was a little ungracious
Time and tide all Greek and Latin, as they jog the mice race

The city men, the masses, the target groups
The political parties, municipalities, activists,
The groups in the name of this God and that
The city men, the wise men
Their tried and tested methods,
In the name of this faith and that

They work as one team
As one unthinking brain
The city men, the run down trains
They are the mementos of the New Age

Individuals left their names on the sand of time
The city men leave an asymmetrical scar
On the unborn android, the one in some box-like womb
Life comes in full circle they say
But when the city men go in circles
And, they do it as one unified mind
I don’t know who can break the ear-splitting rhythm
Of the one voice humming in the symposium

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

For you my fallen friend

I will be there for you my fallen friend
Like the silent wandering dragonfly
On your misty blue marshland
Unnoticed, I will fly by

I will be there for you my fallen friend
Like the dead twig afloat
Watching you die
as you continue to butcher
Riding on the current
Of your tremulous water

I will be there for you my fallen friend
Unfound continents and seven seas
The hell and the mummified identities
The heaven and the slaved angels
They barricade that stretch of land
Their virtue and my vice
Restrict me from your premise

That mirage on the grain of your sand
Is my adamant hand; outstretched..
With every nerve stretching till it tears
Confessing to you like never ever

I will be there for you my fallen friend

Monday, November 26, 2007

I met myself

On my way back home
I met myself
With my hand in the pocket
Like some stranger
I looked at me

I tried to wave
With raised brows
I continued to whistle
I continued to slip away..

My feet absently took the same route
But I couldn’t reach out
Could not hold my hand
I had become a shadow

I was the gray mirror image
Just a blur reflection
I was the caged prisoner
Of the mysterious me

While the I reached the edge
and took that flight
My shoulders drooped
I knew I was lost

The shadow that I had become
Could not be freed
Not from the free me

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Ladies’ Special

I had sent a silent thank you to the person. The same person; who was now screamed and glared at by every other person in the compartment. Mumbai. The city pushes you to the edge almost as often as you breathe. Here in this local train we were literally and figuratively pushed to the edge.

Every day a Ladies Special train packs the women of this city and dispatches them all to their desired destinations. Mumbai depends on this one locomotive wholly and solely. The day this train resigns, Mumbai will be faced with a debacle quite unfathomable in size and scale.

The train played its trick today.. It ran at a slower pace and failed to reach this station on time. The crowd grew in volume, making me nervous. Nervous, not because some business empire would come down like a pack of cards because I couldn’t make it to office in time. Unlike other locals who are born thinking that the only way of life is to live happily ever after with this mob in the backdrop all the time, mob puts me off.. makes me feel nervous.

I wanted to back off as the crowd in its routine way stepped a step closer to the platform edge. I knew what this action meant by heart. The train was coming.. finally. There were voices in my head telling me that it would sound preposterous to call up my boss and tell him that I would not be swiping my card today because the mob puts me off. Any self-respecting Mumbaikar would like to keep this ‘ mob psyches me’ secret to herself.

So like everyday, I decided to give it a try.. One wave of women made its way to the compartment shore, followed by the next and the next. I was still on the platform. Only when the train almost gave up on me, I managed to get my feet aboard. My mind was sending its usual silent SOS messages, without my consciousness approving of them even once. I needed some breathing space..

Beta .. idhar khade raho. Faster than the speed of light I pushed my way to the space shown to me by this godsent stranger. I knew the voice had sounded a little too coarse to be any woman’s. And, in that split second, the one glimpse at this face had revealed its identity to me. This person had taken a wrong train. Maybe..

I stood next to the stranger. My shoulder was touching the stranger’s shoulder. But, I could breathe. Though the voice and the face had the same rugged quality about it, very much like my other counterpart who once taught me that a woman should by accident or choice never step in the other compartment, this voice had given me some breathing space.

Then the voices were raised. My fellow travelers were trying to keep their distance from this person, but it was impossible to find enough space. The train’s uniqueness was brought to everyone’s notice. The woman-like attire was not enough of an explanation to travel in the Ladies Special.

They were two of them. The one who had helped me and the other I couldn’t see. But knew was there.. There was this strong something smelling like alcohol.. I knew too well that it wasn’t any fragrance brand. Yet, I reserved my thank you for the stranger. Of all my journeys in the Ladies Special, this was the only journey where someone actually allowed me the much needed space to breath.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Let the child live beyond her time

Let’s dump the deadlines for once
There’s a timeline to live
And timeline to die
And a timeline to love
And one for every dream you chase
For every hope

Let’s run behind the schedule for once
Allow the sun to roam at its will
And the stars to stray through the day
Let the child live beyond her time
Let’s dump the deadlines for once

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The ocean ceases to be the ocean..

When you explore the depths of the ocean.. do you reach the ocean floor in the end ? Is it about reaching the deep end or about reaching the faraway island or just about trying to reach there? Is it about sinking below the many layers or is it about drifting away?

Is it about the ocean gulping you down? Or about you melting in the blues…Is it about the horizon or the ocean beyond that line? Is it about knowing where the ocean begins or about knowing where the vastness ends; if it does?

Is it about reaching that point where you think the ocean stops being an ocean or reaching that point where the ocean ceases to be. ..?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mumbai is..

Mumbai is like a stack of dominos. Any one piece can bring the whole structure down.

Monday, November 05, 2007

where you end, I begin

where you end, I begin
insane thoughts
they call it a sin
hazy dots
million plots
where you end, I begin

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The First Meaning

I am going to the east
The sun is said to rise there
Traveling by the night
Under the constellated blackness

I lift my hooded head
To those scattered pieces
The signs and symbols
The cues spread across the sheet

My fingers trace the dots
those remnants of some other time
together they break the spell..

like a blind child
I discover the first meaning

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Frozen Coffee

You are just too good..
The best when things need a closing
With finesse and art
You put an end to my start

Holding on to that mug
The coffee froze in time..

Of that end,
I don’t know where to start

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

That Fork in the Road

Our roads almost crossed once
we missed each other by just that mile
I wandered again, the same lane
the first time I walked those steps..
I didn’t recognise the footprints
second time over, I picked up the cues..

Maybe you were just a mile ahead
it’s a small world they say..
I don’t quite agree
The world’s big enough..
makes it impossible to walk the distance..

Our roads almost crossed once
but, that fork in the road
where we missed each other
just that mile ..

The Xmas Tree

I still remember the Xmas tree. It was something awe-inspiring for me as a 7-8 year old then. Presently, I closed my eyes shut for a moment when she told me that the tree almost touched the skies and then they had to fell it. The sapling had grown deep roots in my mind. I opened my eyes and she smiled a sad smile at me. I smiled too.

We were friends when we were girls merely aged 8. Now we were women of 24. I was seeing her after almost 15 years. This was simply absurd!

Her family had bought a big new house. They had invited all the kids to their new place then. She had asked me to come too. When the crowd had finally said their goodbyes, she had taken me to see the small Xmas tree. We had giggled, tenderly touched the sapling and later I had told almost everyone I knew about her new Xmas tree. Now the big house lay buried in our memories and the sapling remained only a sapling. Some financial tragedy and treacherous people had forced her family to sell the house. The new occupants did not want that Xmas tree in their courtyard. Instead of them slashing it down carelessly, my friend had requested that the tree be fallen in front of her own eyes.

Over a cup of coffee, here we were, after all these years of silence talking about the old family house. She was the first person in my life who had probably understood me and loved me for what I was. I realized it here, after so many years. She confirmed my hazy thought by saying that she had visited the place where I had then stayed; many times after I left this village without even meeting her. She had searched for me on the Internet, I had been on her mind, and her wish was finally fulfilled. She found me and bigger surprise was that both of us were in the same city presently. Only when her wish was fulfilled did I realize that it meant so much for me too.

Over the years I had believed that I had changed; become a different person. But I guess I was wrong about myself. I was this fragile looking dewy eyed kid then. I was this kid who loved to wander in the orchards alone. A lonely pup or a wandering butterfly would be the only company I welcomed. “Nothing has changed with me”, I heard myself telling her. Only when I had pronounced this aloud did I realize that nothing had changed actually.

I remembered her cycling up and down the clay road almost everyday. She used to look like a two year old would look wearing his Dad’s huge shoes, her small athletic body on her oversized bicycle. With ease she would ride her cycle to my place and ask me to hop on her bike, so she could take me with her. I would then curtly nod a no and refuse to go with her. Every day she would try to convince me to go with her. While she would enjoy playing rough games and most times would manage to win even against the boys, I would never once attempt to play any game where I was required to be a part of any big gang.

Now we were laughing till tears spilled over the rims of our eyes. I was really fond of this English teacher of ours then, and I used to take a flower for her sometimes, with the hope that she would warm her ever chilly behavior a little towards me. This teacher had failed to look deep in my eyes; her glance had some myopic sight which only liked to look at my good enough scores in her language paper. On such occasions my friend had teased me, bullied me, snatched the flower from me and raced with it to my favourite teacher. I never chased her, never tried to reach her. She sped like the wind, gleefully. I just stood there.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Leave it to God !!

'Leave it to God !!'
Leave what to God?
The maimed innocence?
the life choked to death?
or the words locked in your eyes..

The barbed wire, it draws a line.
Should I leave it to God?
The fence cuts through their worlds
It has left my fingers bleeding now
Should I leave it to God too?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Crowned Queen

I am no heiress
I am the crowned queen

The empress of that world
Of the massive expanse,
The hues of the dusk

The blue vacant sky
The starlit night
Of the depths

The blue spectrum
The valley, I own
It lies to the edge of that world

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Ebony Lounge

The ebony lounge
Brown melting drapery
Sharp geometric furnishings

Will you sing to me once..
The same old song
The dim dusky lampshade
Illuminates the kohl

Will you strum the guitar once..
Play the age old tune again
Wine glasses are raised
Everyone has a reason

Will your glance fix on me once?
As you sing to the ebony lounge..

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bizarre Blizzard

Just round the corner
Like a bizarre blizzard
She moved into my life

I was pretty unsure
Of the colorful beads
Of the silver trinkets
Her mistimed laughter
Her thoughts all a muddle
Like a fuzzy maze
Something in her eyes
Placid as the glacier
Fluid as the falls

Under the crazy hail
I spread my wings
The invisible talisman
“It’s a blessing from above.”
The hypnotic voice rambles

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Figurine

Today, I went to a sari shop. Yes, I wanted to buy one for myself. The reason wasn’t what it typically, necessarily is for women generally.

On my pastel, dull looking t-shirt the guy placed the deep purple, layered cloth. I was supposed to be seeing myself in the mirror and letting the sari decide if it could look beautiful on me. Instead, I was looking at the kid sitting there majestically in front of the mirror, playing with her hair, bringing them on her eyes, combing them back and forth with her imaginary comb.

I stepped a little closer to the mirror. The guy needed me to judge the sari. The kid looked up at me and smiled shyly. I smiled too, shyly. We had caught each other unawares. I saw the kid’s desire to become the woman, she imagined of, with long hair. She saw my desire to become the woman, I imagined of. ..

Then I looked up, at myself. From the pale blur pastel to the deep purple, it was quite a change in me.. I could see. In that moment, my mind raced back to the figurine of HER in that far off place. The image of the woman in that distant temple changes the whole world around me or at least assures me that I can possibly change the world around me someday.

Maybe like the little woman with her imaginary long hair I was living an imagination too, with that piece of cloth.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I cannot belong

The best friend said
It is the end
I said fight
Please don’t go away
But, I was not worth the struggle
She gave up on life,
hers and mine.

Then he packed his bags
I said please don’t burden yourself
Too many stuffs, let me carry the load
He said no, all the baggage is mine
I leave nothing behind

at a crossroad
someone was walking alone
Terribly lost,
I decided to walk with the stranger.
our steps fell in rhythm

yet another crossroad
as much I wanted to stand by him
He wouldn’t stand by me
He said, “Life is too long
I cannot belong.”

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Many Endings

He said he had many endings
I smiled..
That meant there had been beginnings too

The question pricked at my mind
Like the thorn cutting through my flesh

Who is the unlucky one?
The one with many endings
Or the one who never saw a beginning

Is the one winged eagle ill fated?
Is the chained prisoner luckier?

The sun ceased to rise
It said it feared the night
The writer ceased to write
He said in the end the world would end

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Salvaged ..

Like a vulture, thirsty for death
I hovered my dying dream
Eager to see it gasp for the last breath

My dream looked abandoned
Like an outcast in its own world
We sat there together
My dream and me

The dream was clutching onto me
Or maybe it was the other way round
That moment came soon enough
The dream became breathless
And I was choked

The vulture in me gave up then
The Satan in me lay there dead
The tiny shred of hope
The One sign from the ONE

My dream salvaged me
Like the phoenix it rose from ashes

Monday, September 03, 2007

If it makes you happy

If it makes you happy
I will silence all the words.
If it makes you happy
I will walk the distance alone

If it makes you happy
I will lose every fight
If it makes you happy
I will be the shooting star

If it makes you happy
I will lose my way
If it makes you happy
I will not believe

If it makes you happy
I will sacrifice faith
If it makes you happy
I will lose hope

If it makes you happy
I will let the fate take over
If it makes you happy
I will let the world win

If it makes you happy
I will become their prisoner
If it makes you happy
I will walk to the edge

Friday, August 31, 2007

Surrender yourself !

Surrender!! Surrender!
They scream at me
I am clueless..

Surrender what exactly?
I am already on my knees

Surrender! Surrender!!
They rant again
Can’t you see?
My bleeding knee..

I am on the ground already..
I have surrendered myself..
To myself though..

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Art of killing the words

I am a master in the art of killing words. The gloom that fills my chest and sends a hurt up my throat is part of the process of killing words. The silenced words die in your heart. Nowhere else but the heart. The words are born there and will have to die only there, I guess.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I wish I could disown myself, the way the many people disowned the girl child born in their family.
I wish I could disown myself, the way the many people disowned the world as if it was the making of some lesser God.
I wish I could disown myself; the way white disowned the black.
I wish I could disown myself, the way capitalism disowned the commoner.
I wish I could disown myself, the way that sect disowned the many lives.
I wish I could disown myself , the way the world disownes me.

I wish I could just disown myself.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


It’s a blank night
My ceiling bears no stars

The smudged clouds
Make it a blank night

I wish to see the firefly again
It doesn’t come to my window

I play with the table lamp switch
Play with the light and dark
But it’s too old a game

Eyes heavy with sleep
But, the sleeplessness wins over me

Friday, August 17, 2007

Down the memory lane

I would be going back to Pune tomorrow!! When you go to a place with least expectations and you are showered with love, contentment.. you end up falling in love with the place.. And , the love lives even if you leave the city. That’s my story with Pune.

Sometimes, I wonder.. what’s so magical about Pune? There are little small things that make a difference in life, I guess. These small things sometimes mean a lot more than’s big questions.

Small things I miss about Pune-

1.The everyday walks down the university. The talks we talked as we walked.. about trivial stuffs of life..

2.The coffees I drank at 70mm..with just about anyone from the department.

3.The changing colours of the university trees.

4.The hostel chats..the empty coffee mugs lying around the room.

5.The drowsy eyed friend saying, “you make coffee for me!” the 10th-12th coffee of the day, at 3-4 a.m. in the morning.

6.Hitching rides to the department.. Knowing too well that I would meet someone on my way to the department..Late for the lecture, sometimes the someone would be Nakhate Sir himself, taking me on his scooter for his lecture :)

7.The filthy hostel kitchen, a common topic of discussion.. when you ran out of topics.. When you have spoken just too many times about everyone’s sad stories ..

8.Getting up at 10.30 a.m. just to realize that you have a movie to catch at E-Square at 10.35 a.m.

9.Watching 8-9 movies in a row! Sitting just about anywhere in the theater, squatting on the theater floor, right next to the projection screen.. shedding tears, refusing to look at the someone sitting next to me.. everyone sitting here is sobbing!! They call it the Pune International Film Festival!!

10.Alone, walking up and down the city streets.. buying cheap pirated books, Cds..Alone, at the hostel room.. sipping coffee..

There are million memories of this place.. like the million small stars.. making a beautiful starlit sky…

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Shadow ...

My shadow has ceased to follow me. It’s taken a different path, I guess. I look behind, but I don’t see her anymore. I keep looking behind, hoping to see her.

I wish, I could find her.. For sometime, I wish I could cease to travel my path. For sometime, I wish I could let my shadow lead me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Possessed about the light

There are no milestones on this path
Just the thickets and hooting owls
The unwinding twists and turns

The fluid flowing path
Like the liquid freed from the bottle
Deciding its own track

There is light somewhere
Like the lonesome moth to the flame
I take the first step..
Possessed about the light

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I am a woman first!

I was flummoxed, not at her questions but at my answers. She was pursuing some course in the field of Defense and International Relations. I was a quintessential Indian who spends most of her life talking about Constitutional Rights and blaming the politicians for all the problems ranging from corruption to the traffic jams.

I couldn’t gulp the roti anymore. The vehicles on the road were making it even tougher for me to comprehend the questions she posed me. She rode her bike as effortlessly as ever. Though I was the pillion rider I felt as if I was in the driver's seat. I stuffed the roti back in the paper wrap and decided to decipher the answers.

Now what were the questions like..She had asked me if I was to prioritize my identity what order would it be like.. Am I a Hindu first or a woman? Like a bolt of lightning the answer jolted me. I am a woman first! My mind screamed.

I am a woman even before being an Indian or a Hindu. I still remember those glowering eyes. Mumbai was abused by two sects. I was one of the many Mumbaikars who never pondered over their identity like these people running around with swords..some bearded, others with a saffron scarf protecting their necks.

But they had one thing in common. They were moving in mobs, those glowering eyes peering at me. Those eyes, I am sure were not interested in unraveling my religious identity.

The city was fractured and immobile. It was my longest journey from work to home in Mumbai. End of the day when I reached home safely I realized I was a woman first..

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My Small House

My old life came knocking at my door
Hesitantly, I welcomed it in
My small room grew even smaller
The old life did not come alone
It brought the pages of my past along
The pages looked crumpled and old
But I had no trouble reading the blur lines
Etched on my mind and heart
All those lines became voices
I needed to blur it all
I needed it to fade away
I closed my eyes shut
The faces became clearer
My hand sought the cigarette packet
Unsteady hands lighted the match
The smoke around my nostrils now
Failed to blanket me
I killed the cigarette finally
Pushed the door open
Left my old life alone in my small house ..

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Losing Battle

Why do I fight a losing battle?
Why do I try to swim against the current?
I know I am so ordinary
I know I might lose
Lose all I have
Yet I fight yet another losing battle

Why do I try?
Why do I put my heart at stake?
I know it will leave me scarred
I know it will never heal
Yet I fight yet another losing battle

It all goes back to that day..
Pandora freed that feeble ray
It’s the Hope!
It makes me take yet another plunge
It makes me forget I cannot swim
It makes me believe
And, I fight yet another losing battle

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Fallback Cushion

Everyone needs a fallback cushion
Once in a while everyone does
Someone to break your fall

To watch your steps,
To just walk behind you
Everyone needs a fallback cushion
Once in a while everyone does

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

“I need to fight myself first”

Why? It confuses me. Why do people fight with themselves? Can’t there be some peace? Why is everyone at war? I was at war once. I did fight myself too. But, war never puts insecurities at peace.

Peace puts all the fears at peace. The moment is to be lived. Not be fought against or for. When the sand castle becomes sand, just fold your arms and look at how it loses itself. The crumpling structure will give you peace. Why do we try to save the sand castle? The waves will wash it away in the end. Let it become sand. Don’t fight. Don’t restrain the sand in the form of a castle. Set it free. Set every grain of the sand free.

Your sand castle has to undergo a metamorphosis. Let it happen peacefully. The sand grains will otherwise have to fight for their liberation. Instead, you liberate them, before they decide to break free. Detachment doesn’t come easy. But detach you must.

The fight arises because you refuse to float in the stream of life. Then the strong water current will wash you away. Either you suffocate, gasp, and try to build a dam to lock the water or let it become a Niagara Fall for you.

A Fight never has a possibility of victory. It is forceful and violent. There is a fight, because your mind has grown.. But, we are too scared to accept it. Don’t pin your mind down. Please don’t fight.. Make peace instead. Peace is a difficult emotion. But once you conceive it… the fight will end forever..

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Earth

Between the heaven and hell
I chose Earth
The woman had a stronger presence
Depths and volumes
The heaven was only heaven
The hell was only just hell

The Earth was much more than heaven
The Earth was just as lethal as hell
The woman had prismatic presence
It was beyond the blacks and whites
It was beyond the angels and devils
It was gray, shadows and sunrises

The woman commanded Heaven and Hell
Disciplined them to colonize together
Forced them to be at her service
The woman got me down to my knees
Between the Heaven and Hell
I chose Earth

Monday, June 18, 2007

Death of an Idea

The idea could have lived
In a painting
In a poem
In an opera
In the galleria
In the theater
In the legend
But the idea died
Lived forever in the tomb

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Dead End

Why do I take that road again and again? I know it will lead me to a dead end. Then why does the road exist in the first place? Any road is a road because it reaches you somewhere. When a road takes you nowhere, to a dead end ..what do you call it? A Dead End…

I don’t know what lies at the end of the road. But something tells me it’s a dead end. Still I tread on. Why? Is it to confirm my intuition that it was always a dead end at the end of the road?

Maybe I should stop enforcing my notions of a road on a road. Or maybe I should tread on. I journey the journey every time unsure or almost sure that it would lead me to another dead end.

The dead end ends and leads me to another journey. The journey that I then make, tells me that the dead end is only a beginning actually. Beginning of a road which goes on. No one knows what lies at the end of it or whether there is any end at all.

Monday, June 04, 2007

If I were the rain..

If I were the rain
I would cry my heart out

If I were the rain
I would cleanse the world

If I were the rain
I would drown in the sea

If I were the rain
I would touch the butterfly lightly

If I were the rain
I would touch your brow

If I were the rain
I would rain

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Empty Page

When you just want to write and there's nothing to write about and you think you will just have to leave the page blank..You end up writing something very beautiful sometimes. Then the empty page becomes a leaf in your diary or a leaf in your life.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Moment

This particular moment visits me sometimes. I don’t like this moment. It scares me. I dread it. The walls close down on me. They corner me. I feel suffocated. Lost. Lonely. Helpless. Weak. And , I feel like leaning on somebody else. I just want somebody, anybody to lead me through this moment. I gulp. My mouth goes dry. My eyes go moist.

There are people around me. But nobody sees the tear hiding in my eye. I don’t want anybody to see it. Like the bird shot in the heart, I lose control. I can’t navigate the trajectory anymore. It’s a free fall.

I know it’s only a moment. It will pass. It just has to. I close my eyes and wait. I learn to enjoy the thrill this free fall brings.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Dream

It’s high time, I told myself. High time to close my eyes shut. The dream was kind of making me hope. The feeble thing could die any moment and yet there it was breathing in my mind. I wanted to blow it off before it decided to die. But like a candle in the wind, there in the darkness of my mind it was spreading light.

Why are dreams so stubborn? Or, is it us who are stubborn? I don’t want to dream any dream. I want to live everyday as is given to me by God. But here I am dreaming yet again. It shatters most of the times. Then it takes days to collect those broken pieces and fling them away.

But it’s like that with most beautiful things in this world. The butterfly looks prettier than any angel; but its wings are weak and it dies soon. The flower sheds its petals quickly, and then it hurts to see it that way. The rainbow stays in the sky for only a while.

Yet, they all reappear.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Prayer

I don’t want to read your thoughts. In fact, I don’t want to read anybody’s thoughts. But I can read it all. On everybody’s face I can see it… The eyes pour it all for me. I try to look away. I try to act dumb.

My eyes understand it all. In the moments of laughter and joy too they tell me the story behind the smile. The eyes give it all away. I don’t want to take it. I really want to believe in the crinkles that form every time somebody smiles.

But before I come to the conclusion the conclusion hits me real hard. Suddenly the lady sitting next to me forgets gossiping about her colleague in office and looks at me.

I talk to them all. I look at them all. My eyes absorb it all. The struggle, the pain, the joy that is here to pass, the people they have lost, the people they will lose and the fear they feel of losing them; every glance tells me a story I don’t want to hear.

In the crowd, every face wears a mask. But I can see past it. The layers of emotions hidden and buried; all leave their graves and haunt me. I close my eyes and pray. I send a prayer to them. A warm current hits my gut .. as if I have taken a deep sip of wine.

I journey the dark alleys of their eyes, but there is no fear now. There is light in my eyes , there is prayer enough to bring light to all those eyes looking at me.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Colouring Book

The sea greenish book even today has the ability to somehow disturb me. I still remember this really long and huge colouring book I had when I was a kid. After a long sweaty day, here I was, umpteenth time in my life visualising the colouring book. The inanimate object knew one of my hidden traits. It just knew me too well.

The book cover housed a colony of cartoon characters, standing there together, like a family would, for a group photograph… I walked past a group of middle-aged women and took a window seat, in this sparsely crowded Thane local (train). I tried shaking my head of those thoughts and shook my head quite literally too, in the process to do so.

Some extended family had flown over 1-3 oceans that summer, visited my family and that’s how the sea greenish book had come into my life. The book was unique. It was too big. I had never seen a book like that in my glamorous hometown Mumbai ever. As any average 5-6 year old would, I too had liked the book very much. With extreme care I would turn the long pages. My tiny fingers would trace the lines that gave existence to the characters on those pages. Colourless and empty their faces looked. I coloured only 1 picture from the 150 leaves. Years flew, and the last time I opened the book, approximately 13-14 years ago, the book looked the same. Only, the uncoloured pages were uniformly coated with a pale ugly looking shade of yellow now. I didn’t do it; time did it for me.

The train halted yet again, dragging herself to reach her destination dutifully. As the train was gaining momentum, two kids jumped inside our compartment as lightly as the kittens would. They held a stack of books on their heads. Now I could see books other than the one haunting me. The duo cheerily squatted on the empty compartment floor, rested the books on the floor too. Their faces looked similar, maybe they were siblings, I told myself. It seemed as if colour black had some special interest in them and hence had smudged their round innocent faces with itself. I caught myself craning my neck to get a look at their books and eavesdrop on their conversation.

Cartoon characters merry making on the cover.. the kids casually opened few books.. They were colouring books! The kids were here to lure us into buying them. I yawned, looked at my wrist and realised that it was late again. I had promised someone that I would for once, today try to reach a little earlier. Over the years I have realised that whichever season it is, Mumbai has the longest days, all throughout the year..

The kids sat there smiling brightly, chitchatting, tiny fingers pointing at something or other on the many pages of the many books. Then the older kid, a six year old, took out a stub of crayon and grinned. The younger one pulled out a book and with his blackened fingers the older kid coloured the smiling sun in that picture all red. I realised why all the books still accompanied the duo even after spending a whole day in Mumbai local. These kids would not make good sales guys when they would grow up, I thought.

There they sat, cross-legged, colouring every picture in the book red. The small hands weren’t all that steady. Every picture was left looking like a red blob in no time. I did not want my station to come. I wished the kid in my memories could come alive and join these young artistes. But this kid girl just wouldn’t come alive. Whenever she would sit down in a corner, with the huge sea greenish book ..her parents would try to convince her to colour it. She never could. She would just nod, refuse and say she would colour it some other time when she grew up.

From the red blobs here I was again with the dull imagery of a dull dead book. Two small hands pulled me away from the ugly book. Before I could gather my thoughts, and myself there they stood, right in front of me, colouring book almost touching my nose. Oh! The kids had got up, gathered their books and of all the women in the compartment chosen me as their prospective customer. I nodded vigorously, fished out two toffees from my purse and gave it to the little artists.

Later I was left smiling to myself ; asymmetrical red blobs replaced the pale empty huge blank pages.

Monday, March 26, 2007

His Midnight Eyes

I love his eyes
The haunted look in them
One broken dream
Through the silence it screams

Silence shriller than any war cry
This man fiercer than any warrior
Anguish running wild in his very nerve

The darkness in his midnight eyes
Naked defeat lingering in them
His gaze arrests mine
The reality so real, bare and stark

The battle is lost
But he continues to fight

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Tainted City

At that precise moment the loathsome city just got on my nerves. I clenched my fist, cursed aloud and kicked the rear tyre of my black dumb vehicle. The other guy looked at me, his face quite expressionless. Maybe he was trying to figure which one to wear and how he could pacify my suddenly upturned mood…

I had to bear with a long drive across the Mumbai city twice everyday. In the morning, I sometimes wished it could be a little longer and I could never reach office. The drive back home used to be different; I used to conjure up the images of my son smiling at me. In the evenings I wished there were no traffic signals between me and my happy family.

Today as I left office my thoughts were all a tangle, like the disobedient mesh of wires. I could see my son’s toothless smile, but my ears were listening to one of my particularly vociferous colleague’s shrill voice. Absentmindedly I drove across few lanes...

Few days back, on a late evening I locked myself inside the small space of my car. After the day spent with people asking for instructions it was a nice relief to retire in my own personal space. Enveloped in the cold, my mind was lazily grazing through a range of thoughts. My fingers were lightly tapping to the Jagit Singh number. Some lanes more to go and I would reach home, I thought. I was passing through a busy lane, this one being peddlers’ favourite lane to sell cheap Chinese products, veggies, clothes, fruits etc.

Elite households must have been empty at that hour, as they were on this street buying veggies and blocking my way. My fingers were still tapping on the steering wheel when I saw a guy pointing a finger at me. He was screaming something. Though I couldn’t hear him, his unheard scream could tell me that something had happened to my car. Or maybe he was looking past me at something else I told myself as I drove on. Now another guy was waving at me, signalling something. I kept moving. My car managed to move a few feet before the third guy came and almost blocked my way. It was high time I got of the car to see why these gentlemen were taking keen interest in me or to be more specific, in my car.

When I so wanted to reach home early and take my wife out, these gentlemen had other plans for me. The first word to fall on my ears after getting out of the car was FIRE. The honking impatient horns were unable to comprehend why my car stood there like a tomb in their way. One of the 3 guys, a lanky man in his 30s was trying to help me make sense of it all. He said he was trying to call out to me, stop me as he saw fire on the bonnet of my car. The other two just nodded or spoke in monosyllables.

I followed him to the front side of my car; he was explaining how he had seen sparks flying from my car’s front. In the midst of this crowded Mumbai Street I stood with my black car. My mind is programmed to resolve any situation quickly. As a manager I hate roadblocks of any kind. It irritates me to stand helplessly and let any situation loom larger over me. I quickly opened my car’s bonnet to check the damage. Then I noticed that one of the other 2 guys had a spanner in his hand. He moved swiftly to my side and requested me to move aside. I more than willingly moved, as I did not want to dirty my hands. My wife wouldn’t allow me to touch our son with those blackened fingers. It would take a few minutes to clean them.. and I hated the idea of not being able to touch my son sooner.

The guy was peering inside my car’s mouth. I could hear some sound as if dry leaves were burning and I saw what the 3 men were trying to tell me all this time…FIRE. Okay. So, there certainly was something happening to my car. The guy explained that the car’s carburettor was responsible for the fire. It needed to be changed, he further explained. This time I nodded and spoke in monosyllables. Then he said that he could help me change it as his buddy (the third guy) owned a small garage nearby.

I then realised what the media meant when they talked about the helpful Mumbaikar Spirit. He said a new carburettor would cost me Rs.2000. Whatever. I didn’t mind paying this money if it could save me time. I followed their directions and reached a small empty space. The 3 men made best effort to get it done quickly for me. Finally, they said it was done. My car got a new carburettor; the old one was thrown away. I glanced once at the new carburettor, paid the money quickly and left. Home was only 2 lanes away from this place. With these guys’ help I could reach home in time, take my wife out and also hug my son close to my heart the moment I reached home.

Next day in the middle of a meeting, a thought crossed my mind that I should take my car to my regular garage and get it checked again. I didn’t want my wife and son seeing something like the flames coming out of our car’s bonnet. In the evening, I loosened my tie and stood patiently as the mechanic examined the car as per my instructions and tale of the burnt carburettor.

There was something wrong about his expression. Was it the smirk or the raised eyebrows that made me inquisitive, I can’t remember. I made him explain what was so amusing about my car that made him want to smile. He took great joy in pouring in all the details. The fire, he explained was not because of the carburettor. It was because of the red and the yellow wires his dirty hands were holding and making the sparks fly again. The realisation hit me pretty quickly and I uttered many four letter words in its response. The mechanic looked at me, this time his face was devoid any expression…

I shared my realisation with only my wife. A few days later, a particularly vociferous colleague of mine was narrating one of his recent experiences. He said that on his way home, 3 guys stopped him claiming that they had seen FIRE coming out of his car’s front. They changed one of the car’s part. Some time later again 3 men stopped him, told him that they saw FIRE coming out of his car’s front. This trio helped him too. Later, he took the car to a service centre to realise that this bunch of men had replaced his car’s good carburettor with a faulty one. And, to top it all he was fooled twice on the same day in quick succession.

Today, as I left office my mind was unable to think straight. I sat there at the steering wheel trying to think past my colleague’s story. My son’s innocent face was unable to get me away from the unnerving thoughts. I am not sure what upset me more, the fact that I let 3 men fool me or the fact that I kept quiet about it unlike my absolutely vociferous subordinate…

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I wish

I wish I could camouflage

Mix and dissolve in the mass

With no distinct me

I wish I could never talk

make my words unheard and lost