Saturday, December 18, 2010


Standing between two mirrors
And looking at your own images
Mirrors within mirrors - all full of your own image
And helping your eyes find where it ends,
An exercise in futility.

Sometimes, coming back to yourself
Is like waking up from a million dreams
Waking up from a sleep, within a sleep
And tracing it all back to the real sleep
And the real reality.

They try to fence it for us, all in good faith.
Give us only one mirror, so that we don't
Drive ourselves insane.
They try to tell us to walk a path that has been
Etched on the Earth's heart - all for the sake of sanity.

But then, the image becomes reality..
With no questions asked, no answers sought..
And our image, sometimes becomes the only reality..
Where is the beauty then, of all the images?
Of you in all your forms, real and surreal
Of not believing in all of them, but of kind acceptance?

And, the understanding that if not all,
Some around me, may also have
Their own two mirrors to look into..
And the rest may choose to see..
Their image as the only reality!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


There is only so much you can dream
Some days just pass by making
Little paper balls out of rejected dreams..
Too optimistic, too dramatic, too sweet
Too contrived and hard to believe..

It rains outside incessantly, and your feet,
Lend their spirits to your mind..
So it keeps flashing stories at you..
Stories, that would never become reality
And even if they do, they would perhaps be not as good,
As when they were stories on a rainy afternoon.

Nostalgia is overrated too.
How you hanker for a place and the time
That made that place what it is in your mind,
On return, the place has happily moved on,
It has embraced its future confidently without you..

You throw a few more paper balls into the bin
And get back to work. Try to worry about something.
If not worry, just a space, a comma for the sake of solace,
I wonder how sometimes, cynics and dreamers
Are brought to the same place!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We have no patience whatsoever,
To step back and look at our data points.
No! Don't come to us with those parametric equations!
We have decided that it is going to be a line.

Well, don't question our methods -
For they were written before your were conceived!
They have been tested enough, they are fine.
All these years, time after time
They have always given a line.

Why do you bother about close-to-the-axis..
And how does it matter what is higher?
We don't waste our time in reinventing it
When we know that it is called an outlier.

We know how you feel - and we sympathize
For once upon a time, we were young too.
But we learned very quick to see the line
And now, that is what you should do.

All this theory of letting it unfold on its own,
Is very romantic but if we may interject,
Try and find your own line soon, and
If you can help it, do away with the intercept!

You see, you are safe on the line
For there is only so much you can fall,
And there is more company here
High up it tends to get very lonely
And it will risk a larger fall dear!

On a line, you can easily compare
And see where everyone else has gone.
These little deltas work as gradients or medals.
Depending which side you are on.

The world just makes much more sense on a line
Life is an assembly line my friend,
So don't open that can of worms for us
With your parabolic trends.

In a fragile moment towards the end,
When your foggy eyes would want to see it clear,
You will never remember it as a fancy curve,
Life would then look strangely Linear!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Summer Tantrums

Nature is so motherly sometimes,
Trying to distract me from the scorching heat,
Turning the sky maddeningly purple
By bringing the Jacarandas out of their retreat!
Or mixing in some Jasmine into the tree sweat,
As I walk uphill, under the Sun's smother,
Interrupting my sulky annoyance
By bursts of fragrances one after the other
When I try to wake up before the Sun,
To steal some breeze away from the world,
She rewards me with a different gift,
The summer song of the summer bird!
Sometimes, when nothing works
And I surrender, helplessly to his overwhelming power,
She takes pity on her baby again,
And sends me her special afternoon showers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bitter Sunsets

I first painted her sitting by the river
With nothing but her long hair
Draping her back
The slight curve of innocent opulence,
Her narrow waist inadvertently made..
I soaked my soul in the colors I used
And my eyes moistened as my brush
Covered the canvas like an effortless dancer..
But she left, abruptly, gathering her clothes

In my resolve to forget her,
I whitewashed my canvas for my next painting
Painted a flower girl, who wilted in the summer
Then I painted a seductress over her,
I liked myself for what people began to think I was,
A lonely traveler with an eye for beauty
And I liked how I made them wonder
If I would whitewash their bodies too..

Sometimes, after a seeking sunset
When there is a lot of dust between me
And the uncertain horizon, I can see myself
Retracing her curves again, from beneath
All those layers, of color and whitewash.
Embittered and embattled, with nothing
To look forward to and nothing to go back for..

I can only confess to the sunsets,
That I should have used a new canvas..
Then, perhaps, I would have been able to know
If I really am a good painter,
Or if I can just draw her well...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

In memory

Which page from your ancient past
Inspires this tear grandma?

Oh, little one, these days
My eyes have lost their bastion
My mind fools me into thinking
That the tears will hide
In the folds of my wrinkled face..
And no one will know they are still made..
But my little one can see them
So I should be more careful..

Or you could just share your story,
I am not little anymore you know..

To tell you the truth little one,
It is easier to feel the tears
Than to trace them back, to the ball of wool,
That the cat got his little string from..
It is not like you, with that boy who left last summer..
Leaving you so many tear stained pillows..
And that is the only thing your little mind
Has sewn together with tears..
It is so many years, so many people
That tears are easier to remember than them..

Why do you smile now grandma?
Who inspires this smile..

To tell you the truth little one,
All of those who brought that tear before..
So many of them, that it is just easier to smile
Than name them all!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Do you seek the freedom that I enjoy?

Yes, I do.
Your freedom to be a girl, a woman and a man..
At your own eccentric whim.
Your freedom to wake up and lie down in the sun..
Your freedom to have waffles for dinner
And a steak sandwich for breakfast
Your freedom to call anyone an idiot and move on..
Your freedom to be happy with your choice
And your freedom to change your mind,
When the happiness fades away.
I envy all of that.
And how about you? Are you happy?
You must find my restricted life quite silly..

On the contrary..
Sometimes I do feel
That someone should mark a square for me
And then I can be free in that boundary
Paint my little square the way I want
And enjoy the colorful security
Of having an entire square, just for me.
As long as I have a sky overhead
That has a few stars in it, not the whole galaxy.
As long as I can invite my friends to visit me..
I would be happy, knowing that there is a place
That completely belongs to me.
Being completely free is not easy.

I wonder if we could both move
A little towards each other..
A little closer, maybe just close enough
To hold hands across our boundaries..
Well, across my boundary..

No, I have a boundary too..
It is my mind and I like it a lot..
I try to control all the little things I can..
In order to have that boundary..
It doesn't work all the time
Sometimes the lines between pleasure and pain
Get frighteningly murky..
But every time you set a new boundary,
There comes a time, when you surely defy it.

Funny you say that, for I have none..
In my mind, I run free
I pack and move every hour
To a new reality, just for company..
I try and imagine what I could have done
Had I not been what I am today
And the possibilities astound me..
But every interlude comes back to
A more certain reality..
And my physical boundaries
Tease me.

But I must confess, I feel much better
Knowing that your freedom is not your slave..

And I think I am glad, that my boundaries
Are not glass-lined fences..

Just holding hands for comfort is enough
As long as we share our stories. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Second Hand Book

I certainly don't come with
That inane innocence
Of never have been opened before
I have been through a few hands, in my time..
And it perpetually surprises me
That my time still goes on
I thought I'd feel old soon
When I was held by a pair of wrinkled hands
On an early morning, in the London tube
I looked at the others around me,
With a crisp glaze of fresh make-up
On their newly manufactured covers
They looked more attractive
Against my yellowed, dog-eared pages
Then I was sent off to the United States
Borrowed, left unread, forgotten!
Bought by students in second hand shops
And left behind in boxes, for the younger, prettier ones..
Sometimes, used as an unusual aid
To write down numbers of strangers on the train..
My story has been told
Again and again.
It has been criticized too..
A lot of trivial important men,
Have had their trivial claws sharpened
On my so-called controversial plot..
But if you want, we can pretend
To start all over again.
I am getting a bit too old for that..
But what thrills me, is that my time
Is yet, not over!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Books, Places and People

Books are great roads
Great teachers
Great Planes..
That take you places..
Give your imagination..
Something to work on..
The Paris of my thoughts..
Having an imaginary croissant
With an imaginary cup of coffee.
It is all well and good.
But books turn us into books.

Places are better..
They come with a smell
And a reluctant History
That makes more books.
Places can talk too
The chaotic ones have a stronger voice.
The quite ones talk with silences.
Some have picturesque lakes
And others have picturesque filth.
But all of them write pages in our minds..

Then some ambiguous evening comes
With pictures and verses
From the book that is being written
Between your eyes..

But all of this is still not enough
The luxuries of a "spoilt" cultured kid
Or of an ambitious intrepid traveler
Or of a nonchalant, eccentric hermit..

The true void can be filled
And brimmed over
When two souls talk
And teach each other..
The honesty of an eyelid
Trying to contain a tear
Or of a back-slapping cackle..
The comfort of reaching out
And of being reached out to..
The pauses between words
And the words picked between pauses
The similarities between confident smiles
All over, across the oceans

They teach us sans the snobbishness
Sans the hefty History
And they do well because they
Don't really think they have anything to teach..

When souls teach each other,
They become kindred souls.

Friday, April 23, 2010


This earth that I fence,
Never belonged to me..
And it will never belong to anyone
After I am gone..

But all my journeys belong to me
And many may inherit them,
If they get enamoured
By the spirit of moving on!

The smell of a new place,
The silent yearning for the old one,
And then the neat rationalization!
With each new place my mind grows up,
The horizons of fears suddenly shrink,
And a face smiles at me,
From every corner of the room!

Some people carry their homes with them
And build exact replicas far away from home..
And some become the place they are in..
When people drop their barriers to turn into a place,
The place responds too, and turns into her people! :)

And though it is hard to leave,
The Gypsies have to move on..
To be at home everywhere!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


There are some who come with maps
And then there are others,
Who dip their feet in paint.

Like a woman turning into her mother,
Impatience, over the years,
Turns into Patience.

There is always a border
And an expiry date to the way,
That people see you!

Too much helplessness
Sometimes, miraculously
Turns into Courage.

Courage is over-rated too!
Could be anything,
From a moth to a grasshopper.

How you breath depends
Solely on the jar,
You are stored in.

It is good to see
A mind smiling back gracefully,
With a few wrinkles around her eyes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


We still live the story of Adam and Eve
That began with a simple,
Unambiguous Divine instruction,
Of not eating the Fruit of Knowledge.
The innocent, primeval couple left it
Faithfully unquestioned, until..
Their oblivious bliss was choked
Between the glistening coils,
Of a slithering serpent from Hell.
It spun a web of irresistible
Almost compulsive attraction around Eve
And Eve gave in.

She could not hold herself back
From the Fruit, she surrendered!
And the coiling Serpent left,
With the scars of a million Births
On her primal, unsure Womb.

I love Eve.
Even the Garden of Eden faded
In the light of her careless Blunder
And Adam was dragged with her
Into the river of abysmal Sorrow.
Not just Adam, but the entire
Human existence as well!

Although they both created it,
Adam is just the Reason of Chance,
But Eve, in all her beauty,
Is the sole, Reason and Agent of Choice..

She appeals to me, not for the Philosophy
That surrounds her.
I like her way of self-surrender.
She chose her inevitable destiny
To have the fruit
And Lust was born.

Lust is a labyrinth..
Eve may have given us
A lifetime of suffering
But she is also the one
Who opened this labyrinth for us
And showed us the beauty of
An unassuming, empirical God
That is silently superior
To the Obvious.

That is the debt humanity owes her
And can never pay her back!
She stands like a Goddess
In our circles of Lust and Sorrow
Because of her very first surrender..

(Translation of a Grace poem from Marathi)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It is nice to have play lists, and know them well
Then every song ends in a no man's land
And the dream for that song fades with the music
The next one is ready and you know it
You know exactly where it is going to take you
Sometimes when you don't like what you have
The anticipation of the next one gives you the hope
To wait for the music to be on your side..

But then when it is all shuffled up
Like a card palace that just came down
Jazz, classical, rock and blues
with no sequence whatsoever,
Thrown at you one after the other.
There is no time to wait and plan a dream
That goes with the next song on the list
The song and the dream begin at once
It is confusing, disorganized and stressful
Although it is still, in all its beauty and honesty
The same melodious music.

Enough time and you learn somehow
To like what you get than try to get what you like
The unexpected blues on a summer morning
Or the silent meditation on a crowded bus
Then the dreams get twinkle toes
And they don't need all the pomp and planning
To start dancing as soon as the music plays..
The whole effort of constructing play lists
Suddenly seems futile!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Everything needs to be ended
Or revived at some point..
And it happens after constant interrogation
Of the need and the arrogance

I am on my own, I can start over..
Chop off these magnificent wings
And wait until I grow them again..
Who knows, they might turn out
Stronger, softer.. bursting with color

What if they never grow back?
What if they shrivel up and die?
What if this is the only pair I ever get?
No..I think I better stay with what I have..

I am scared to use them, lest I exhaust
My supply of healthy feathers..
But what is it good for if I can't fly?
I wish I could get a ready, unambiguous answer..

Maybe I should just keep flying
With what I have until I fall down
Unconscious, by a wise, peaceful lake..
Whether it is time for death or revival..
Is what the lake decides.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Same old concept..all over again!

A wandering mind; a floating cloud
Watching a dutiful river flow,
Stretching her arms towards the heavens..
But the Earth never lets her go..
The floating slows down when the cloud
Sprouts her own reluctant water feet
Comes back to fill the thirsty cracks
Where seeds and raindrops secretly meet..

An unwanted celebration once again,
Once again, the same old colors of spring..
Lamenting the return to life
From almost knowing what the heavens sing..
I have seen this all before, over and over
The raindrops with rainbows, and the butterflies
I am so old, yet young all over again
Unheard, unseen by the heaven's eyes..
It is good to be pulled back, I know
To have a ground on a moonless night
But maybe this love of Earth and hearth
Is obsolete beyond that final flight!
Maybe someday I will join,
A gang of darker chimney clouds,
And slip away before mother calls back
Unseen by the noisy crowd..
And then there would be no need
Of a label, a name or even a verse,
For I won't be cloud anymore
I would be the Universe.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rain Talking to Me

How have you been?
I know it was hot
And I know I am late..
But then this delay is
Worth the look in your eyes..
Your constant peeping out of the window
And melting your gaze
In every pregnant cloud..
I like it all..I do!
That's why I am always late..
I know how I make you feel
You get all your poetry out, don't you?
I make you forget
All the boring realities of your life
Or at least I make them better
When you walk to work
Under an umbrella!
I know I make you a little sad
When I come down at sundown
You don't like to obscure your sunsets
And mix them with uncertain nights..
But when you sit in a corner and weep
And add a few warm ones to mine
The beauty of that sorrow
Makes my short-lived existence worthwhile..
Then when you go to bed,
I turn into a drummer and
Keep you company in your dreams..
I know you want to see me when
You open your eyes,
So I try to stay
Fighting the persistent Sun Rays..
And the smile in your eyes
When you open the window for me
Makes up for the tears
That I brought the night before!
It is funny how you call it my moods!
How you don't like me or like me
At different times..
But just for the sake of conversation,
Are those moods really mine? :)
Stop explaining why you like me
And how you like me for reasons
That are strictly related to the weather
You can tell them all
That you like me, because
We have this thing going on
Between the two of us.
And even if you don't say it..
Everyone knows it by now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Being Happy

I am happy because I AM.
Not because I have,
what others don't have.
Or because I could have
What others don't,
Before they could have it.
Not happy because I can shield
What I already have
From the eyes of the jealous world.
Not relatively happier than others!

Happiness is not the absence of fear.
It is the feeling you get
When you put fear, anger, jealousy
Constant longing along with avarice
All your have-nots, and could-haves
In a big cardboard box and send it off
To Timbuktu. :)
The chilled beer after all that hard work
Is Happiness.

Happiness is merely to be.
And it is very very easy. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Verse Yoga!

Some days it is easier
To speak in a verse
Concentrate thoughts
Into something terse
Chisel words, phrases
To match the urge
Make sonnets, couplets
Or a melancholy dirge!

At such times memories
Seem like an ugly weight
From an overfed mind
And it is always too late
To change mind's ways
So it is worth the wait
The verse exercise
To add agility and grace
And improve mind's gait
In streams of rhyming words.

Let it learn again
To stand on its toes
To bring its knees
Up to its nose
To twist and turn
Let it burn
Some energy
My little mind
Needs some sharpening
So, this verse exercise. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


One of those rare nights
When Body becomes Mind
And flatly refuses to unwind
Unwilling to leave behind
The habits of another time.