Saturday, November 29, 2008

My city bled

It's been a long wait. I really wish it to be over now. It's been years that Mumbai has waited. The city runs in our blood. Time and again, it repeats itself. The long wait continues for us everytime..for our loved ones to be freed of this torture, of the belief that Mumbai is a place where when one goes out and she might not return back home.

The stranger I can relate to so well -she is like me.Mumbai runs in her blood too. The stranger suffers..and my heart breaks.Three officers laid down their lives. I don't know them well. But, my heart breaks. I want it to stop now.

I don't know the people in Nariman house either.But, their house seems so like mine. It disturbs my sleep. I cannot imagine my city like that..with people with guns running about our home.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It flames red with life

I feel like a bird who walked all the distance till here just to know I have wings.
The gulmohar tree, it flames red with life when the other trees don't.
The star rises in the lonesome sky to steal its moment with the dark blue sky.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tear becomes a dew drop with the touch of leaf. With touch, it becomes the tear that fills the ocean and makes it whole. Tear becomes a rain drop with the touch of earth. Under the rising sun, on the blade of newborn grass the droplet announces coming of a season.

With the touch of his finger tear comes alive and speaks of those thousand words words could not speak ..of love, hope and peace.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Small wonder

It's not a dent in that silver idol. It's just a black spot on silver. It can be washed clean.

The wedding shopping for a woman begins with buying a silver idol of Goddess Parvati. I started mine with the Parvati with her straight backbone and lean posture. Then days later one aunt noticed a defect, a dent in the idol. My mother like any other believing mother took the dent on the idol to her heart. Deep inside the dent did disturb me a bit too. Though I did not give it a conscious thought.. Mother decided to change it and get a new one. This was months later and I had finished most of my other shopping till then..Parvati was the first thing I bought and I wanted her to stay with me. So what she had a defect in her. But then you shouldn't keep a defective idol they say. So I kept quiet and agreed to getting a new idol.

Mother decided to change her and yet couldn't make it to the shop a couple of times. Finally, the festival of lights danced at every window. Laxmi puja. I had the most bright Diwali this Diwali. Love lights you up like nothing else does.

This was the first Laxmi Puja I attended; where I could understand the woman my mother always spoke to me about. Ideology that talks about the strength of the woman, the divinity of her idol in all her temples made perfect sense to me. Maybe because I have grown now and can identify with her more now.

The marigold saffron, the rangoli creeper green, yellow of the earthen lamps. First time in my life as I bowed my head in front of her under the Diwali lights I saw another head bend down in rhythm with me.I smiled.

The day became a beautiful night by the time I went back home. Mother said she could not go to the shop again. I spoke to her about the Laxmi Puja. Then suddenly I picked up the Parvati idol and it struck me that the idol is not defective. It is just a black spot, silver getting blackish over time.

Mother and me , we had a spark in our eye as we saw the flawless figurine shine under water.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Can time stand still a bit?

Can time stand still a bit? I want to touch every pixel in the image. I want to see every second before it becomes a minute. Sometimes when you find a book you love to read you don't want to turn a page.

The magic happens just. You cannot see it being born one spark at a time. Yet you know the miracle for a miracle for just that.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Single Woman

In my teens I used to think being a single woman was a statement-of strength and independence and of style. The single creative woman and her pack of cigarettes. The single rich and famous woman..the one we get to see in Bombay Times. The social butterfly with the come into my parlor approach towards suave men . These are the single women. I used to believe of the single woman passionate about some art form, too intellectual to take the conventional route .

I used to think then that I is a stand-alone thing. It has to be that way to feel your full strength. One needs to be superior in some respect to want to be alone. ..I used to think. That image in my head of a single woman, that of a woman wearing silver and stones. The woman an activist, that woman the owner of some plush boutique.

I was a teenager some years back. And I patronized the single woman ..the one in my head.

She has been with my family for more than a decade. She doesn't know how one reads time from a clock. Her family doesn't like her much. She is pretty daft, we all say and know. Her siblings don't like her visiting them. Her husband used to beat her up just after they got married. He was already married to another woman. The couple needed a full-time maid and they thought she was a cheaper option.

Other day as I read through another Bombay Times story of some rich single woman who got ditched by her rich fiance... I remembered her. The single woman I have known all these years. She is an uneducated yet employed and empowered woman.

Absolutely alone. She will never be the cover page for any women's magazine. Some of us never outgrow our teens.

She is our housemaid.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The traffic light melts

The lane blurs at the bend
the traffic light melts
like a color of a painting
under the droplet
the traffic light melts

The sea and the rain
the song of the wind
it touches my face
sometimes as the wind does
sometimes as the sea does
sometimes as the rain..

Thursday, September 11, 2008


In their country they say Insha'Allah..I like the sound of it too. I also say Insha'Allah. It means God's Wish. So, as we entered the Police Station my aunt said Insha'Allah. I liked the sound of it too.

When you do not know what would happen or when you are to choose and you can't ,God's wish does sound reassuring. The questions in my head subsided with that Insha'Allah. It was my first visit to the Police station. Passport. With all that I have heard, read about the Police, I have a perception that they are ill-mannered, unwilling to help,unapproachable, rude people. So I went to the station expecting trouble and an unfinished job. It wasn't a question of such gravity. But it was a question. Will they give me trouble? What are the Police like?

I entered the Police Station with ease. Insha'Allah. The worst that could happen here is they refuse me a passport or make me fill the form again. It wasn't as bad a scenario. But here I realized, some questions in life which tend to give us sleepless nights or questions that give us disturbed sleep would be much easier to bear if we remembered to include phrases like Insha'Allah when we voiced them silently in our minds.

The conquest towards the choice of yes or no, the time spent on predicting a Yes or a No ends with God's Wish. Every choice is not a mere choice. Silence or voice. Forget or Forgive ..or both. I hear me or I hear you. I listen to me or I listen to you. Us or them.

When I wish I wouldn't have to answer, it would be a relief to realize it isn't my choice it's a God's wish.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Eagle

I may not be the sun.
But, can I still be the beam on your tranquil waters?
My eagle, I may not have the wings as wide as the yacht sail as yours.
Can I walk under the shadow of your wings?

I may not be the picture, perfect to the eyes of the painter..
He stacks me along with some other unfinished works in one corner of his room.
I am not his unfinished painting.
I am as random as the strokes he splashed on the canvas when emotions couldn't be given any better shape.
Can you keep me safe in the cedar box where your treasures are kept safe?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ounces of pink

For you, a thousand times over”

Ounce and Ounce. The rose bush in my garden blossomed with pink. I have lost the count of beats my heart skips..I can run a mile for you. Does the green tree know the number of leaves it should bear for the drops that quenched its thirst? How many ounces of pink for this season?

I can only walk these ten steps towards you. I can only shed three tears. Let me invest those smiles, hold them safe and suppressed within me till they become laughter..for a happier tomorrow.

Calculations. The second thought when I sign that charity cheque. The second thought when I give a piece of bread to the pup down the lane.

Boundless joy..
Million stars

For you, a thousand times over

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tidings of an old friend

Tidings of an old friend
like a paper airplane
land in my backyard
like a dove
with an arrow,cutting a hole in it's wing

Friday, August 01, 2008

Which color will speak for me...

Sometimes I don’t have words.
I feel like picking up a brush sometimes.
I don’t know which color will speak for me.

The sky goes indigo
From the deep blue to the morning yellow
I don’t know which color will speak for me.

The green turns brown
The brown becomes green again
Where the two rivers meet
The water turns green too
I don’t know which color will speak for me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day of miracles

The rising waves, their sound, the spray, the rain pouring on my car’s window..the day of miracles. The does a wonder because it is at that unexpected moment. The sun goes golden on the sea at the horizon. Then the golden travels over the waves, all that distance, over those waves, towards the promenade where we stand. It looks like a spotlight on us. As if we are on a stage and the waves are watching us as we stand under the halo.

The sea makes you lonely sometimes when you stand watching it alone. The sea seems beautiful when you watch it with someone. Day of miracles..

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I grow up instead

Memory of the giant wheel
Rainbows in my grasp
wind in my wind wheel
My childhood

The fairy in the tale
I grow wings too
claps everybody I know
and everybody I know not
As I dance away

Memory of the knot
Not the pink bow on my frock
The knot in my hungry belly

I do not become a fairy
I grow up instead
The blood droplet
The pin pricks me
as I pin the wing
To your rainbow wind wheel

I grow up instead

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If it was for me..

If it was for me I would become what the lotus leaf is for the dew for you. I would nestle you in my palm like the small newborn bird. I would become the barbed wire that keeps the evil out of your world. I wish the world was reborn for you again. I would turn the time back to the beginning of time. The mirage in the middle of the desert would be me for you, if it was for me. The mirage would win its identity back from the yellow sand then.

If it was for me, I would become the first rain drop to announce the coming of the season for you. I would become the last leaf that autumn sheds. I would be the last leaf that spring bears in your world.

The wave that forms those circles around your feet would be me. The footprints you leave there would be me. The footprints that the wave washes away as you walk your way back home would be me, if it was for me

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Lake House

Not the one in that film called The Lake House. Last Sunday I was standing at the gallery of one real lake house.. The chimes they had tied atop the trees made the trees even more beautiful. Imagine feeling the wind and listening to the music it creates..Then your eyes look up trying to see what these chimes look like. Are these ones like the ones you saw in the Lake House or the ones you heard near that tall tree you passed few steps behind or do these ones look different from the ones you have seen? I wondered many times through the day as I walked past the lakes and the bushes and the cottages.

The guy had asked us what we thought this place was.. A resort, a hotel, a what? It was a farm. It was like visiting my village.. the one I never had. Agro-Tourism as a concept is new in India. The guy had said.. I believed him. Otherwise it wouldn’t have taken so many years for me to be able to stay a night at a full-fledged farm.

Water-lilies are water-lilies. Water-lilies are not lotuses; I realized. Fish farming is more than the blur diagram in school textbooks. It wasn’t my first rendezvous with nature. Yet, it was one of those experiences I would want to talk about and write about. Night at a farm house feels like a night. It’s not a night of neon signs.

It was a starless night. The sky looked like those human sketches I used to draw as a kid. My human figures never had any ears. My mother always made those poor beings feel complete by either drawing the ears herself or making me draw them for the sake of that entire family of ear less people I loved to draw. I wished my mother could make the night complete too somehow. Star in that tree! Glow worm…

Together we sat looking at the stars in that tree. Then when we thought it was time for us to come inside we walked back to our cottage. My mother switched all the lights off... just as we all stepped in... The house was more wooden than my house in Mumbai. The house was as small as our one room in the city. The house ensured that we spend all the time together as a family. As we tried to look around ..just look around for nothing in particular, in that darkness under the wooden bamboo table, a star came alive..

I missed seeing that smile on my family’s face. But, I didn’t miss feeling it.

-Dedicated to Saguna Baug

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I live there.

What you called the end of the world is the beginning of my world. That is not just a tunnel locked forever with the darkness gagged in its mouth. I walk there inside. There is that whole world in there. I live there.

Come with a candle in your hand. It’s not like that inn full of candles everywhere. It just needs one light to feel the world in here. It doesn’t take ten voices to hear me speak. Your one word will echo and will be heard more keenly than the trampling hoofs of the horses carrying those men through my world. Too many voices blur out the thought. Too many candles mess the world a painting with all the colors pushed inside it.

Have you ever imagined what the color of peace is like? Do you think it has a color at all?

The party down that lane doesn't fancy me the way the horizon I see somewhere too far for me to reach does.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Will you love me till my end?

I am the shoot of your unborn seed. Will you love me till my end? Underneath the brown skin, these grains of time, my heart beats. Will your palm feel the earth above me sometimes. Underneath your palm I will come alive..I will find my way to the first rain drop. Tender as your blessing..the rain drop will touch my leaf; it will feel like the first feather on the new born wing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I set behind you..

In the swarming crowd
I like becoming your shadow
Like the setting sun
Behind that range
In the swarming crowd
I set behind you..

My hand in yours
The speeding car
the narrow lane
the tall wall
the dead end
My hand in yours

like the tired kid
breathless from the run
she shuts the world out
hiding behind that tree

In the swarming crowd
I set behind you..

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Like any impatient housewife who puts the gas burner on full when the milk is just about to be heated completely, God seems to get impatient every time its time to bring the rain. I am not trying to say God is a woman because of the impatience shown here.

When it rains everything seems to rain. I close my eyes; spread my arms under the blackish grayish clouds. Everything seems like running free. Yellow on the backdrop of black. Lines, forked lines drawn by the hand strong enough to let the lines run where they want to run…

I run free too. The rain makes everything rain. After the red of the gulmohar on the streets the newborn green makes me feel as if every day, every thing is a wonder. The ripples I see on the lake, the ripples I feel in my eye.. sometimes it is one drop at a time. Sometimes it is one rain at a time. On the black of that rock, the one that waits patiently at the edge of the river when there is only that footprint of that river, I stand tall. It lets me touch the rain before the rain touches the ground below.

The rain in my palm, it touches me soundlessly. yet seems like talking to me, it listens to me too. I try to keep the first drop of the rain in my palm, but it runs free. It touches the crooked lane, it touches the windowsill of the high window, it whips me , drowns me ..behind the glass of the window with a cup of coffee in my hand I rain with everything else.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Am I just lost for words

Incomprehension on her face
Or am I just lost for words
With my bucket of green
I try to paint the tree with leaves....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind..

the silence in me gives you peace
the war I wage against me
Shuts the door to your enemy

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I hide my beak under my wing today

I hide my beak under my wing today
Put your pen down
Listen to the white noise
Amidst all that is gray

Listen to the shrill echo
Of the word unsaid
I hide my beak under my wing today

Friday, March 21, 2008


One writing community on Orkut has taken Promise as the theme for this week. To write about.. I will try to scribble something about Promise too


Dewy eyed little girl
The path of that butterfly
Outstretched finger
To the dotted black wing

Outstretched little finger
Over this blue green nerve
As he turns his back
His clenched fist
Under her meek fingers

The stone pathway
Away from their home
His lonesome walk
Back to the empty shack

Outstretched little hand
The promise put to death

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't paint me blue

Don’t paint me with that blue
I am the tranquil of the starlit silver
Don’t take me to that edge
I am the fallen leaf straight from the tree

They strap me to the lamppost
Leave me there under the yellow light
The rope, it cuts my wrist
The black inside of me doesn’t lighten bright

Friday, March 07, 2008

How does it feel to be a woman?

We are a day away from the International Women’s Day. I just thought today..I should think today.

How does it feel to be a woman?
*It feels like the sun and the rain. It feels poetic. I think being a woman makes me love fearlessly, selflessly, wholeheartedly. I can reach out like no man can. Every woman can reach out that way.

*It makes me vulnerable. My eyes speak. The world is blind. Yet, my eyes speak.

*It gives me the strength to walk alone. It lights me from inside when the world shuts every light.

*I can lead. But I won’t. I will follow you because I want to.

The crazy woman
She still loves
Like the lightening
She is born again

Earth had to be a woman
Her one resolve
Turns his tide

The crazy woman
She walks the last mile
of his no man’s land

The midnight darkness
is the thin line of her kohl

the winkled hand
like the perfectionist
like some avant-garde artist
etches the lines on his young palm.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


There I stand
In the unholy waters of the sacred Ganga
Wooden beads around my neck
There are people around me
All chanting something
All with their eyes closed tightly
All offering the yellow flowers to the Ganga

I stand in the black water
My eyes open
There they send the sinful man afloat the black waters
There is an oil lamp sent towards where I wonder
Ganga .

She is like that unarmed solider
She is not at war
She is not at peace

There are sins offered to her
There are prayers
She meets everyone
But no one meets her in her waters

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I like him for..

I like him for the word withheld
For the forced sentence
The sentence like a garb
He uses the string of words
Like the silken string
Of the silken curtain
To keep the serenity intact
Of the frozen heart
Of that innocent face
the marble statuette..

I like him for
Carrying the weight
of my empty suitcase
of the unasked question

I like him
As he listens to the story I tell
As he ignores the pages I tear
His silent acknowledgement of my silence
The book is old
Pages were older

I like him as he lets me talk
I talk about the small adventure
I talk about that old misadventure
I talk about my dream
The dream that has chased me
Like some haunted soul
As I try to lose it in the crowd of thoughts

I like him for his courage
To not disregard my childish fear
I like him as he folds his fingers
Lightly cages the panicked bug
Holds it out on the expanse of his palm
For me to see
The bug, the creepiness in the dark
Is nothing but a firefly

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Old Watchman

Why does he sit there at the old gate? The shop is long closed. It never was a great shop. It never sold anything precious. I don’t even remember when I saw it open last time. The guy sits there all day long. The old blue uniform. I wonder if he has ever tried washing it. Or maybe the stains are a permanent design, like those fake golden stars on his either shoulder.

He never sleeps a wink. His eyes are heavy with drowsiness. I sometimes feel like going over and talking to him. Every time I walk down that lane, I am tired of that sight. I have seen it so many times. Nothing changes at all. The shop doesn’t open, the guy doesn’t take a break, and the old rusting chair only creaks never crumples..

Monday, January 21, 2008

Am I the redness?

Who am I?

Am I the red seashell?
Am I playing dead?
Lying on the ocean bed..

Am I the sun’s sliced line?
The red line,
against the blackened sky?

Am I the redness on your nail?
the chapped uneven surface?
the gaudiness at the tip of your finger..

Am I the redness in your eye?
The only evidence of your last tear
the unmasked face of your age-old scar?

Am I the redness?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Wait

When you wait, what is it that you wait for? Is it for the curtain to burn itself, it's ashes to fall in a heap of gold? Is it for your eyes to open and take in the view of what you have long seen?

What is it that you wait for? Is it for the chaos to gulp you and vomit you out? Is it for your soul to die and be born thousand times with that one death? Is it for the moment, the tiniest fragment of the whole time? Is it because you wish to capture that moment and cage it in a glass bottle like some genie?

Where is that particular pixel in that whole picture? What is it that you wait for?

Close your eyes. And, you know then that you have waited just too long or maybe you realise that that leaf waited for you patiently... beacuse you were waiting.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

All that starts well ends.

The year is new. People say so. For me it’s just a numerical change. I care a damn. How does it matter really? Life just happens. You can’t represent it in volumes ..that’s possible with the children’s encyclopedia series or some those sort of books. With life, it’s so disorderly. Clumsy.

We run like machines. It’s all on a schedule. Every 31st December, like the clock that strikes 12 and the chime chimes at 12, we all hoot the happy call. It’s a must. It’s a Happy New Year.

You cannot be at peace on the 31st night. You have to be autistic or deaf at the least to be doing that. The black dress is a must. The stilettos cannot be an inch shorter. The black dress cannot be an inch longer. It’s a Happy New Year.

The sms’ have to be prompt. What’s the use of having so many pals on your list otherwise? That kiss in the air on the bitch’s cheek is a must. You need to look more plastic tonight, more doll-like than the bitch here. It’s a Happy New Year.

You must sound shriller than ever. The laughter needs to be faked. You need to be loud and gaudy. The alcohol should ideally retard your thinking brain. The friends need to pet you the most. They need to sweet talk your innocent boozing self. It’s a Happy New Year.

The car has to run over at least 4-5 people. The black dresses need to be torn. Some of them at least. The boyfriend needs to be around to soothe his tormented girl. The police need to be around and watching over the crowd. It’s a Happy New Year.

The year is new. Hug everyone at your workplace. Read the story of that agonized woman. Okay, so this time only 4 drunken kids got themselves killed. Happy New Year!