Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2017


When I was young, maybe 10 or so, I remember jumping from the attic box-room to the floor below. In my mind, I was a superman, and this could be achieved. The excruciating pain that followed reminded me that Superman also experienced pain when trying to achieve extraordinary feats! It was only yesterday that I lifted you off your feets and swung you around, your hair forming a circle in my little room. I love the shreik of surprise that you let out, and the tantrums you throw when I don't put you down. I would love to do this with you all my life. That hint of a sprain in my lower back tells me that the Superman is still alive in me, it's just that you, probably, you should hit the gym more often.

Dead People

It was probably the moustache That attracted the fly This was probably the last time He would be buzzed And the first time That he would not know. There was a lot of white The drapes, the sarees, the cotton With which his toes and the thumbs Were tied. When you are dead I guess these things don't matter The color, the flies and the incense That invades the nostrils Until you feel heady With his death. When you are dead I guess you are Probably just dead And it's different From just not being alive.


I can snuff you out Like a cigarette butt But the smoke that gets into my eyes And the nicotine that stains my heart Will eventually Kill me.


There is a certain Red Let me describe it for you. It is a shade darker Than your blood Spilt When I broke your toe nail And a shade lighter Than the dark cotton robe The Dalai Lama wears When he snoots a finger At the Chinese With no sense Of geography And a lot of money. That Red Talks to me. Published in Lakdi Ka Pul-II


It has been raining for three straight days. Even the trunks of trees are soggy with water. Lichens growing on the driveway have grown an inch thick. The drains on the terraces are blocked with fallen leaves. Its been a while since anyone has visited this place. The termites living in the window frames have grown courageous with neglect. This sprawling mansion of hers slowly dies of our neglect. Neglect. I look at the place where we had cremated her. There were one thousand people to see her off, eight hundred had stayed back for the feast, and a feast it was. The last and the biggest feast in her matrilineal line. Such was her extended family's love for her. Agricultural workers from her era, carpenters, laborers, temple representatives, community representatives, and many of young ones, some as young as three. The parents wanted to seed the memories of their kids with this event. Decades later, when the then old ones spoke of the great Gauri, the young ones were expected to say,

The Dark of the Night

You would not have walked with me Had the nights been not so scary And your nightmares All so real for you. I would not have held your hands Had the hands that I wished to hold Not left me out in the cold. Let us together, you and I Celebrate our togetherness Even as in our silences We cherish our separateness. Mar 7, 2015 First published in Indian Sahitya, Feb 2017 Issue on Contemporary Indian Poetry

A Strand of You

I was on the table When a strand of your hair came calling. I could see you in the kitchen, Your face at once a storm and a breeze. I curled the single strand of loving you into imagined shapes And spoke to it of fascinating tales. And as it played on my fingers, Twirling, and curling I could hear the music from its silent songs. I had half the heart to carry it with me home And hide it in a book marked you. It smelt like July Flowers. It smelt so much of you. First published in Indian Sahitya, Feb 2017 Issue on Contemporary Indian Poetry

Folk Songs

Thannare thana, thinna thannaram thaana....(II) I am not sure of the words of their songs I am not even sure if this is my language anymore. But as the rhythm beats It holds me in its serpentine sway. My soul strums up some ancient memories Of a life in the cradle of green fields Of grains and harvests and rainfall And pagan Gods. The beating of crude drums remind me Not to forget Where I come from. As the music fades into the distance I walk up to the little temple of my ancestors And light one more lamp in their memory. And as the wick sputters into a bright light I am once again my great-grandfather's thought of me, I am a continuum of His cosmic grace. First published in Indian Sahitya, Feb 2017 Issue on Contemporary Indian Poetry

अबकी होली

इन रंगों में वो रंग कहाँ ये रंग नहीं, है फीका पानी जो स्वाद थी तुम्हारी भरी इस ज़िन्दगी में जो तुम नहीं तो वो स्वाद नहीं। सुनो प्रेयसी थी अबीर जो सिंदूरी उड़ गयी शायद बीतते वक़्त की आंधी में। लो आज फिर जो आयी है होली एक चुटकी तुम अपने हाथों से वो लाल हरी चूड़ियां की खनखन से उड़ा देना दखिन की ओर और रंगरेज मेरे इन रंगों को फिर घोल देना बहती झरनों में और ले आना मेरे आँगन में फिर से एक ऐसी होली जिसमे रंग हो उसके गुलाल की सिन्दूरी जिससे कम हो जाये फिर हमारे दिलों की ये दूरी।

Prayer of that "Thing" living in me

From less of that "Thing" thing To more of that thing with thoughts of her own. From less of having to play the donkey To your grand-dad's ancestry To freedom and equal choices. From less of my shreiks Being stifled in my own womb To regaining ownership Of that which is naturally mine. You can be my hero And you need no armour Nor an Alpine account, as some would Want me to say.. I am not your equal Nor am I more, or a little less. I am different, So when you look at me The next time Look at me With a look That celebrates who I am Celebrates Me. (Celebrating women on International Women's Day today)

सकरात की शाम

आती होगी ना उनको भी अपनें कटी पतंगों कि यादें जो उड़ गयी क्षितिज में और फिर न लौट आएंगे उन पतंगों की यादें। मुझको तो है याद मेरे दोस्त वो बत्तीस रुपैये कि लटाई वो मांझे की सरसराहट और हाथों में तुम्हारे नए लाल हरे चूड़ियों की खनखनाहट। चलो एक बार फिर मिल पतंग उड़ाएं तुम चकरी संभालो और हम ढील लगाएं इसी बहाने हम और तुम सुनहरे आसमानों से हो घुलमिल फिर संक्रांति मनाएं।

If you had loved me...

If you had loved me, Half as much as I love you, That would have been quite intolerable, Even to myself. If you had ever looked at me, with the intensity Of my hungry stares, I would have probably felt My soul clench within My migrant heart as well. There ought to be no justice In love As in life And as in life A poetic pause Need not always precede The sullen cry Of the unloved.