Monday, December 3, 2012


You too had a past, did you !
You old woman in that Bengali saree
I only saw the gray streaks and the big
outdated bindhi,
Not the girl who ate chalk and sneezed
Drawing giant mutant butterflies on the walls
With tiny hands , dust underneath the tender nails.
I saw none of that, not the love for chocolates,
Nor the pretty green frock, nor the little plastic rattle,
Yet there you are, caught on a piece of withering paper,
Off guard, much like time itself,
And to know all that I’ve missed,
Perhaps secrets and friendship, pillow fights and dresses,
Stories on the wet veranda, long chain of suitable adorers,
All that and not mere reprimands,
You didn’t sprout in yesterday’s rain, a mushroom,
I see that now, and all and all and everything I’ve missed,
skipping a generation, pushed into role playing,
Growing up on your lap, not by your side,
Silent sighs, Silent thoughts, all in silence, all lost.


Little girl out in the forest-city,
Picking flowers on her way to school,
Met a twenty first century fox,
With glasses and a half grey beard,
Lovely child, take my candy he said,
and showed her an ugly worm.

Now that five whole centuries had passed
and no grandma was waiting,
only a mother with much forewarning,
had packed her some nice sharp scissors,
Little darling, trust no fox she said
Dead children in graves nodded in approval

Off came the ugly triangular head,
Did I surprise you mister, she said
OOOww howled the fox and scooted,
His faith had just been uprooted,
The girl smiled, this time the children had won
The joy of his tattered worm was done.

She swiped the blade clean with a tissue,
Chucked it in the nearest chute,
Paused for a moment, thanked mommy
she knew in her world innocence wasn’t a virtue,
Then hopped and picked flowers on her way,
Recounting her lessons for school.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Hey love,
Parrots have turned blue,
No, I just saw them and they were quite red.
You are lying again you thief,
It’s only the buffaloes that can turn red
Who doesn’t know that!
Well, I have seen some yellow buffaloes in my life,
There’s even a song about it I suppose,
Oh, so you’re telling me I’m crazy
I come from the land of pink crows and purple owls,
Yeah, and flying pigs
No, it’s only the elephants that fly,
It has always been them, the elephants,
Who doesn’t know that !
I have seen them, pigs, flying upside down, pole dancing even,
It has always been that way, time eternal!
You are insulting my culture!
You are insulting my intelligence!
My culture is rooted in flying mammoths,
My whole ancestors are flying mammoths,
And mine were meowing dogs and barking cats,
I have fluorescent cat ancestors with horns for tails
And a purse for an eye.
We should break up,
Flying mammoths and meowing dogs and barking cats
Can’t have babies,
Who Doesn’t Know That!

(Entry for Saarang Writing Awards 2013)

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I never knew my name was beautiful,
Until I heard you say it,
It was in your utterance
that my name became me
and I saw me in my name...
On every other lip, everywhere I had been,
it was a mere cue for me,
to start playing my part,
A dead word on the streets,
Resurrected in your voice...


They always had
blue eyes and golden hair,
in every tale I had heard,
I saw no silver swords around your waist,
You came barefoot, there were
no stallion sounds to
precede your royal arrival..
How was I, a mere fool, then to
know who you were?
You stood at the door of my humble hut,
And I threw you some alms,
mistaking you for a beggar,
Seeing my sad apprehensions,
you forgave me for my ignorance
and left silently,
And every treasure I had hid from you
rusted, eternally unknown...

Locked Doors

I was told by my Holy Book,
that if I knocked,
It shall be opened for me.

I knocked, I know you were
behind that door, so I knocked,
with all my might,
and my knuckles bled.

All I could see was
your shadow through the hinge,
My blood, sweat and tears
stained the flowers I had picked for you,
No doors were opened for me,
like the promises you never kept..


If I cry, will my tears fall out as diamonds?
Like that Japanese fish princess
in that story you once told me..
Will it fall out as blood?
Like from that dead ghost girl
you speak about, everytime-
you want me to cling to you when we walk..

Now only footsteps follow me,
footsteps that belongs to no one,
footsteps that once perhaps
belonged to you...
And in my tears
there is only salt and water,
Only silences and pauses,
No stories, no diamonds, no blood..

Sunday, October 21, 2012

When it Hurts

When it hurts,
Just bite into the hurt,
As though it were a bitter plum,
Chew it for the price you paid
And swallow,
Swallow till you go numb..

And if you do it everytime I say,
You would develop a taste for it,
Bitter plums thrown your way,
Pick it all in a basket,
Find a deserted place,

Eat by yourself,
The red juicy plums,
And the bitterness would dribble through
The corners of your lips,

Trembling in lonely fears,
It’s a world with no time for tears,
Eating the plums,

Chewing the bites,
Everyone by themselves,

Every time it hurts...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

For him who loves them

Naked electronic women,
Don’t sweat,
Nor do they cook or clean,
There is no poetry in
Their Oohs and AAhs
And that’s pretty much
All their vocabulary.

They won’t make you
A pepper sprinkled cardamom tea
To break your cough,
Or tear their pallu
To cool your burning fever

They won’t leave chits of love
in your lunch box,
under your cycle, in your car,
notebooks, laptops , anywhere
They have no guarded treasures,
No secrets, no surprises
That’s not open for any man but you,
Nor do their hearts palpitate
At the thoughts of you..

Of course , they won’t be annoying
As you say,
They hardly fret for you, about you,
Hardly get jealous,
Hardly worry if you ate or slept,
Hardly  bore you with their tears.

Naked electronic women
Flawless, as Barbie dolls,
Don’t sweat, or fret or cry,
Nor have they loved You,