Thursday, August 10, 2006

Window on a Lake

I went away.

I stood at the edge of where I went
and stripped down naked,
plunged into the murkines
of my own mistakes
looking for the shiny pebbles I had lost;
pebbles collected
on the shores of many lakes
between here and there:

Lake Michigan and Pangong Tso.

I didn't find them:
they have been lost for forever
to the earth and the rain
and the silt of time.

That rain
it beat down hard on me
when I returned.

And then it took with it
the afternoon mist
leaving behind the inky air
made of all my pen-stained compositions from last year.

Eternity has come and gone.

But these clouds
have since refused to clear.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Dream Misplaced

And thus I return
to this familiar corner
this unfamiliar space
unsatisfied, unfinished,

These days
they died an untimely death
with the dreams we thought we knew.

Our inheritance has already been usurped
and squandered.

I found
that after all the times we shared
in the shelter of each other's arms

that paradise was not blue.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Morning After

This city will not bend
it will not break:
its spirit will not shatter
like the bursting forth of tin can boxes
that tried to pull its life asunder.

We are a conglomeration of improbabilities
Held together by the fabric of our indomitability.

Not rain nor shine,
Neither mud-slinging
nor explosions
will hold us ransom.

Tomorrow will never die.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Traveller on a Street Corner

The stuffiness of the afternoon
was dissapated by
a promenade in the rain:
rambles under a generous umbrella
turned inside out.

I saw you standing at a street corner
waiting for the wind to take you somewhere
as the drizzle on your parka
mingled with the confusion of foreign words
sliding off the streets like water.

Those blue eyes:
they apologised for everything
even though the universe had not yet transpired.

Tomorrow I will seek them out again:
only they knew of of what it meant
to be standing at the foot of a slope
waiting for the rain to recover.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Torrential Spell

The morning rain shut out the sun in defiance:
I couldn't tell today from yesterday
or yesterday from a tomorrow that never came.

The afternoon rain hammered on in silence
As I sat behind a windowless wall
pittering and pattering on plastic keys in its place
As sullen as its own insistent pace.

At night and in evening time,
It drowned out the sound of my own voice and
the noises in my head
bouncing its tiny bullets off the transparent rooms that separate us;

I resisted an invasion.

I knew my spirit couldn't withstand the shock of the world outside:
I had fallen to its torrential spell
Even before the nimbus had raised a cry at dawn.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I feel like I've been here forever,
Like this day has gone on forever.
As though I can neither escape the dread of the night before,
Nor the weariness of the morning it preceeds,
The afternoon, the evenings,
the week that returns home sullen, unforgiving and fallen,
the nights that melt into oblivion...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

El sabado le samedi, phir aaya shanivaar

In between saturdays
nothing happens.

The days stand still
and I,
whether in patient waiting
or by restless choice,
drive around-
point to point
end to end
of weeks and months ,
around the occasional moment of truth-
barely rising before being able to fall;
barely engaging before
being able to let go of it all.

(*)El sabado
le samedi
phir aaya shanivaar.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Deja vu

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Qui sas

Perhaps the morning prophecies
will live up to fulfilment today.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

Friday, June 09, 2006

Entre des Espaces

Between here and now
then and there,
Floating on a cloud
of pink and purple flowers
From aeons ago

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Escapades in Ennui

Winding lines
in drowsy climes,
I drift into the wilderness
of a long forgotten rhyme...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

un peu d'esprit

First Whiffs

In the moonlight filtering through great swathes of tropical sky
We stood there in our cotton nightdresses
(terracotta tiles glistening beneath our feet
the smells of coffees, cream and expectant earth)
Toasting our bent glass flutes to the harbinger,
To the aching thunder's beat,
To the silk of the palm fronds,
and the crust of our skin
seared by the heat of a testing summer,
The forgetfulness of a trivial winter.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fate Accompli

This is the city of my dreams:
the place I seem to run away from,
the only home I know how to return to.

This is its web of trials and tribulations,
decisions and indignations:
the tangle of Fate
and fait accompli.

This is a daily death and resurrection
of hope and fear and longing.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Collective memories

History in deep freeze

To muse or be bemused?

That is the question.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Momentary Recollection

These are not words
but the moments themselves
suspended in thought,
or contemplation:

the mindful indignation of a life moving on
while time stands still
in the snapshot of a memory


and so very nearly lost.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Paranoid Morning Cries

Wake up

In a swirl of places,
dates & numbers;

Days in dreary sunlit haze.

Tasting the salt of one air,
breathing in the peace of another
gasping for cognition

In a profusion
of moments so dream-like

They were real.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


A 2 a.m. journey from the weariness of a hard-fought day
into the dead of the night
And I'm startled by the hordes streaming forth
from the hearths of the city

People walking, laughing, singing;
Men jocund: resting by the wayside, waiting for the rest to catch up;
Women chanting, their voices keeping their barefoot moments company;
Children hoisted on their fathers' shoulders,
Youth prostrating themselves at a every hundred steps
leaving behind a trail of smouldering oil lamps
lighting the way for the generations to follow.

This is their weekly pilgrimage:
Their weekly soujourn from sin to salvation
from wish to fulfilment
from the darkness of a Monday night
into the light of the holy Tuesday morn
In the hope that their penance will bring them peace.

Mumbai's Siddhivinayak Temple is dear to many of the city's 15 million inhabitants. People leave their homes soon after midnight on Monday and walk the many kilometres to the temple in Prabhadevi. A pilgrimage performed in earnest they believe, will grant them their heart's desire: be it the recovery of a sick loved one or good results in an examination just concluded.

While I had heard of people undertaking this walk from suburbs as far as Andheri and Versova, I had never actually seen the crowds on otherwise deserted Mumbai streets in the early hours of any Tuesday. The first time that I did this week, I was surprised at the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people I passed by between Dadar and Bandra.

Faith, it seems is something us agnostics will always have trouble understanding.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep?

Digital dreams,
Electronic nightmares,
Infected vector explosions
inside swatches of colour
and colour gradients bouncing off screens
luminously destroying the daylight,
invading my space,
resounding in reveries
far from the clicks of a surreptitious mouse.

In the dead of the night
My dreams die with me;
The drones interrupt my silence.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Corridors in Twilight

Walking home in the shadow of the day
silhouette of twilight
wistful hour of in-betweens,

Following this corridor of humanity
Onto tracks, overheads
And incumbent platforms waiting without anticipating:

Members of the great surge
Inching towards the comfort of home
The keep of which has cost them their time away.

It will transcend this moment, this quest.

It will transcend all of time

And employ them forever.

Traversing Train Time

Traversing the history of a city
divided into twos and fours
laterally, conditionally,

histories flash past of each speck of sand
born in the once-upon-a-time sixty-six villages
as the dowry of a fair-skinned queen

nursed by wives within the fortresses
(of wealthy men building castles on opium soil)

histories now at home in small cars and big cars, homes on hilltops and homeless gutters.

This journey remembers them all.

(*) For those of you not familiar with Mumbai's history, the city - erstwhile Bombaim - was given to Henry VI as dowry when he married princess Catherine of Portugal; and hence it came into the control of the British East India Company who recognized its potential as a port and developed it thus. The rest of the city - what are now the suburbs, was once the area known as Salcette: the land of 66 villages. The main city within the fortress (Yes! there was a fort at Fort!) built by the company grew to become the major trading station it is today which grew from strength to strength upon the trade conducted by both the Empire and the native business folk. Today these business men are remembered as the forefathers of some of the great industrialists this city has produced but who, at one point in time, built their fortunes on the trade of opium. Ironic as it sounds, today's philanthropists were in fact, yesterday's drug dealers. Of course, back then the sale and comsumption of opium was perfectly legal and even lead to some very bloody wars in the Far East especially in China, but more of China that another time!
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