Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lament ll

Pity, I have come to believe is the greatest aphrodisiac of all.

Monday, December 3, 2012


The stories were all dead by the time the rains came down. It was brutal just like that. One of them, however, was left with one dying alphabet. I thought it would resurrect itself with the rains but the death was instantaneous.

People ask me what I do with all the time that I have. I say "nothing". They probe deeper.

The truth is, I've lost all track of time. With the clocks crushed, what has set in, is a lightness of being. I've even come to enjoy the glances of disgust that people have come to throw my way. Everything sweeps over and I'm reminded of Kamala Das asking Merrily to imagine herself as the earth "and there are streams running over you."

I never had this peace before. The peace that comes when you let the mind wander. But the wanderings have changed, too.

I no longer dream of the tall casuarinas, or the naked summers, or conversations of deceased lifetimes.

These days when my mind wanders, it so often lingers around the roar of the sea in Thumba, that I heard all through the day sitting in the barsati while the skies of Kerala gathered themselves for the year's first monsoon.

Now Playing:: Jaane kya tune kahi..........Geeta Dutt

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Letter # 1

I thought the call would last for an hour. But it didn't. You sounded jittery; maybe the rains make everything sound jittery. The clouds had huddled up for another fresh spell. The air was too dank to reek of the earth without. Perhaps duped by memory the earth seemed to barge in, defying dankness, defying welcome.

I was too resigned to talk, the distance was too much to mask. I still long for you. I can still feel the constant rush of that longing replacing all things proximate in your helpless absentia.

But aren't the absent soon forgotten? I try not to believe in that, God knows I try. But I've no control on your beliefs, your pleasured preferences, the love you spill, the intimacies you provoke. All I know is that I'm no longer free, that my mind is fettered to the absent and for the lack of a better word, committed to thoughts outside of myself.

I was wondering about the difference in our time zones. I knew I was ahead; it was left to my imagination to distribute you according to the Sun's point of view. In that brief moment you ceased to be everything that you had ever meant to me. I saw you only as a curiosity in a museum that I dare not touch. Exaggeration is perhaps an abnormality with me but antique feelings are seldom privy to the spontaneity of mundane metaphors.

You made me return to this improper element of prose. I was defenceless against poetry. It loosened my sentences while strengthening my thoughts. I don't know how long can I continue telling a private story in the banal idiom of prose whose very essence had always been poetic.

I can only hope Life interrupts again, the way it always does, for better or for worse.

Now Playing:: Toofan mail.........Lata

Friday, May 11, 2012

Of Mothers and Cats

That must be a demon daughter who
Dreams of her mother being dead.
Only saints take truncheons to dreams.
But the dream doesn’t end there.
The haunting memory of that dream catches
Up with her waking life and kills her slowly,
Heartbeat by heartbeat.
Shouting and screaming at the frayed
Perversity of her dreams doesn’t help
The demon daughter. In an agony of emotion
She turns to religion; she prays.
As regions of life explode in her dreams again,
She sees her mother as a giant cat
Holding the demon daughter by the scruff of the neck
And walking on water—gently, regally.
She dreams of the cat’s nine lives
But she also dreams of the Styx in spate…

Now Playing:: Ishaqzaade (Title Track)

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Your photographs have come alive again,
They’re the only things that bind me to you now.
Did I tell you, I’ve made friends with the kinists
And the anthropologists? They despise my poetry
But they like the spare prose that I write for them.
I like this picture where you are with the tribals
And gently smiling into the camera…why do you
Revel in antiquity so much?
One of the kinists talks
About the land that you’ve left for. Did I tell you,
I’ve charmed him and that he seems to be smitten?
Every night I urge him to talk about the land that
Seduced you more than I…every night the bewitching
Image of your gaunt figure treading those sunless jungles,
Looking for links, for lost worlds, for lost bloodstreams,
Feebly rises out from your photographs and makes me
Long for the comforting beat of your heart,
But there’s nothing there, just the dull cry of the
Insects that surround you now… Someday, I shall
Pick up the trails that you left behind and
Find out for myself what truth did antiquity conceal?

Now Playing::Phoolon ke rang se.........Kishore

Sunday, March 11, 2012


The changes are apparent now;
Changes that you wrought,
Your interferences,
I no longer fret
When you ask me to strip
I strip, strip, strip
My tongue has licked bark,
My hands reek of
Whose bony ancestors
Have sprung open
In the soft pulp of your life.
I am contented
I have learnt to recognize,
Recognize love,
For it has taught me two things:
Never to believe in it
And forgiving often,
I have changed much
How could I not love you then?
Love you
More fiercely,
More fearlessly.

Now Playing::Jajabara.........Akhaya Mohanty

Friday, March 9, 2012


There is not a scrap of verse left in me now,
What is left is the mere smell of the older ones
That linger at my bedside
Rudely knocking off the lights
And demanding, why haven't I burned them, yet?
I shall not consider burning,
I shall consider drowning,
I tell myself and turn away...
A faint smell of a new verse drifts
In the air but that, too fades away
With nary a word,
I turn again to the older ones
Despite their disgust and ask them
To contain my ugliness in their
Soft little bellies for one more night
For the morning, I believe, shall bring
Promises of naked sunshine...

Now Playing::Veena (instrumental)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You and Sanity

I know why you took me to the caves today
And talked of water and I know why you said,
“I don’t want you to be Caddy.”

Every stone had burst into a thousand mirages
Then, and history gushed out of the guide’s mouth,
Echoing secret tunnels, wars, and faceless soldiers.

Someone asked for more water and we moved
Into cooler pockets. Let’s leave the crowd, you said,
And dragged me towards resonating pits of stone.

There was a deity in one of them, its priest a frail
Auld man, who sprinkled holy water on you, and
Called you ‘son’ and you obliged him with a photograph.

It’s dark now, much darker than the caves we were in,
I shall remember nothing of this in the morning, not even
The murky sweat stains of your hands on my jute bag,

All I remember now is the pale sound of water purling
Beneath those stones, which you say I might hear if I
Ever believed in a world outside sanity.

Now Playing:: Naam ghum jayega.........Kinara

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Midnight Poem

I need some comforting
The world has been
It has stripped me
I have been running
Trying to save
Let me spend a night
There are forgotten
Let me take them
And blur them with my
Adore me once again,
You shall lose

Barter a night,
I'll give you
My farewell in

Now Playing: Dream a little dream of me.....Doris Day

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bury Your Wings

Bury your wings,
Do not water them,
They’ll sprout into
Little saplings
And will make trees
Of your false hopes.
Bury your wings, darling,
Wings are ordinary things,
They do nothing,
They will only take you
From one loveless earth
To another.

Now Playing:: Neela aasmaan........Silsila

Monday, January 2, 2012

The End of the Affair

"Two days ago I had such a sense of peace and quiet love. Life was going to be happy again, but last night I dreamed I was walking up a long staircase to meet Maurice at the top. I was still happy because when I reached the top of the staircase we were going to make love.

Then I woke up. I'm not at peace anymore. I just want him like I used to in the old days. I'm tired and I don't want anymore pain. I want Maurice. I want ordinary corrupt human love."

Now Playing::Fly me to the moon.........Doris Day