Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I wait
On a dusty platform
For an indefinitely delayed train
Amusing myself with
The eternal frenzy of little tea boys
With their aluminum kettles
And serrated glass cups
The newspaper stands
That sell gossip magazines
And that unnerving group of people
Sitting on the platform
With their three course meals in metal tiffins

Sometimes I humor myself
With day dreams of getting on the train
The winding greenery it would unfold
The hot meals and innumerable hot teas
That I would have on my way
To where I want to go..
Or sometimes I read a book
But it is not the same
Because I am waiting..
For an unfairly delayed train

So unjust it is and so frequent too
That I have to wait indefinitely
For the things I want to do
It is not just trains..
I think it is my life too
That leaves these big pregnant corridors
Between what I want badly
And so little that I can do
To get it when I want it

If I could I would fly
But I cannot do it now
I could get angry and barge into
The office of the complacent station master
Who is probably beyond delays and even abuses
I could have tea, but I won't enjoy it
Because this wait is unfair and incredibly painful
I could sit there and cry silently
And replay the usual sequence of waits
That I had to go through since childhood
At least I would get this train..
But what about the other things in Life?
Those corridors that lead to something else
Than what I want to see when they end?
What about them?

Then all of a sudden a little kid
With tattered clothes and a runny nose
Comes around with a harmonium
He sings a horribly discordant love song
Going beyond his years and his vocal cords
But his big black innocent eyes
Are full of some unknown joy
The joy of being able to make money
Out of someone else's painful wait
Or just the joy of being able to sing
Freely and fully, an uninhibited love song
That turns into the biggest comedy
Just because it is sung without the fear
Of consequences.

A ten rupee note into his hands.
For making Waiting worthwhile.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Over-brewed Lament

I still remember the day
When my words plunged you
Into a momentary,still darkness..
I know it was momentary 
Because I am no bigger
Than a moment..or even less..
I remember how you lowered
Your big innocent eyes in sadness
And then a single, lonely tear
Rolled down your shiny cheek
It was not your fault, it was mine
And that tear should have rolled
On my selfish, inconsiderate cheek.

I could not make you smile
So I removed you from my life..
I threw away the letters
I stopped visiting places 
That would make me run into you
When you tried to reach me
I put myself into boxes within boxes
Of cold, distant vacuum.

One day you stopped reaching out
You found your wings, God bless them
And you had your share of eager boys
Fell down a few more times
And realized that it goes in circles..
Love and tears alike.
No one then was like I was once
In your pellucid, innocent eyes

And then one day we happened to meet
In a fruit market in the middle of nowhere
You were haggling for a dozen apples
And I was holding my wife's purse
I knew in an instant that it was you
With your skin, your eyes and your light
You turned around and your glance
Stayed over my face for a split second
In that moment I was hoping
You would freeze from a renewed grief
And the same lonely tear would graze 
Your cheek, now in full blossom.

But you walked past calling out
To the new man in your life..
And the whole market seemed to pause
When he held out his hand for you..
Had you not noticed me at all?
Had you forgotten everything?
I still remember going into great details
To keep all your letters unopened
So that I don't have to reply..
And the ever so recent conversation
With my best friend about how
What I did to you was only because
It was good for you..
And for all that effort 
I do not even get a single tear?


Monday, April 6, 2009

Easy Worship

A string of blood red hibiscus
Twenty one together
For Hope and Love
And Prosperity
Most of all Virtue
Sometimes Shelter
From ailments of the body
And mind.
For Knowledge
To get ahead of everyone
Without being ambitious
And for Humility too
Almost at the same time as Ambition!
To get over the Past
To beg for the Future
Vehemently so for Happiness
Of all kinds
For Health and Wealth
For Sons that would beget more
And for a long successful Lineage
Transcending Death
And if all of this happens on time
Then also a bit of Luxury
Money spilling over
And a Castle for the eight hours of rest
That is much needed after twelve spent on the castle. :)
And then a long Life
That is free of disease of any kind.
No wonder Your face is eclipsed
With a million strings like that.

But when I have none to offer
I sit in front of You
And try to be thoughtless.
Then I think of thoughtlessness
And realize how ironical that is
And persevere.
I never get there. But I try.
Sometimes out of sheer exhaustion
Or Your overwhelming presence
It happens for a moment.
In that moment I offer You
My single flower, formless, colorless,
tasteless, devoid of fragrance!
The flower of thoughtlessness
That is so hard to pluck!