Thursday, 24 September 2020

Dark

Is there a name 
for this impenetrable darkness
that seems to have bathed my 
hands, toes, hair and heart?
Is it called sadness?
But sadness sounds like a consequence,
like a phase or a feeling.
This seems to be a continuum of unhappiness
that turns the ladle round and round
until the milk turns to butter
and my eyes become red rubies
and my cheeks become wet marble.
This seems to be a bed 
on which I must lay alone,
pillow-less,
head resting on the graves of happier days.
Maybe there is a name for this 
thing,
but would just knowing the name
be enough to pull me out of this hole?
Or should I choose the easier option 
of sinking,
drowning,
and being forgotten..?

Prayer

Throw me down a thunderbolt
from Your celestial abode
so that I may arouse
this sleeping earth into 
awaking. 
It has slept for too long,
stayed quiet for too long,
allowed injustice for too long.
Let me electrocute the silence
and turn it into an uproar, and
into fireworks
lit up by the screams of the sinners
and the fiery eyes of the victims.
Send help now for this purge,
and blessings to the brave,
and wine to the artists-
let the poetry never stop.
Even when the Gates of Hell
are opening (or closing)
and an Apocalypse looms over us
like the shadow of a merciless storm cloud-
bless me
so that I may still find 
a moment and a paper, and create,
and never hate.
Bless me, Father.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Girlfriends

Yesterday, the boss decided 
I wasn't efficient enough
to be paid during a pandemic.
The boyfriend felt
that the waterworks that followed
this terribly timed firing 
were hormone driven hysterics-
not to be encouraged,
not to be taken seriously.
The landlord threatened to evict
me unless I suddenly metamorphosed
into a married lady
(because what else would 
lable me settled enough
to be leasing myself a house?).
But the only real reason
I would call it a bad day
wasn't because I got fired,
or dumped,
or rendered homeless-
these are just adult problems
you can't really escape.
It was a bad day because
I finally hit rock bottom
but my girlfriends were too busy
quarantining
to come and laugh with me 
as the year billowed on by
and time's merciless attacks
left us confined 
to a two dimensional screen
while my life went up in
flames.



Saturday, 5 September 2020

All Cities Have A Colour

Why is it that when I

close my eyes and imagine

cities

Delhi is a shade of melting gold

on a dry summer afternoon,

Humayun's tomb gleams in the distance

while a parrot yearns 

for its mate;

its calls of love nurturing the mango tree 

and my human ears.

And Bombay is grey.

Black clouds fight with thunder

as Colaba watches silently,

hiding its true self

in a bullet-hit cafe

or a black-and-yellow taxi

or the cobbled roads on which

drenched lovers walk together

before the sun comes out again.

But 

Calcutta is a shade

of orange melancholia;

layers of dust hide the truth here

and time slithers into 

an insecure puddle of old stories

with even older protagonists.

Durga watches over her children

who chase dreams in Kumartuli

that even their grandkids will see

in that very same shade of

orange 

that one can find

in the setting sun.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Indus

This river begins from the mouth
of a mountain
with a glottal roar of wonder
that is as honest and real
as Time.
It descends into the arms 
of a temporary lover;
a green plateau of stagnation-
but the river is too wild and wily
for such tepid simplicity.
Its next descent can be called
an ascension, actually,
to a throne of stability and fertility.
It flows like a mother's prayer
casting its nurturing glow
across the fields and settlements
that thrive from its lifeblood.
Everything it touches with
its feminine wetness
grows Life
until Death shows up.
The ocean waves fat arms
of an ancient invitation,
it is a cycle birthed from
air, water and wisps of something
we don't yet have a name for.
The river leaves, reluctantly and slowly,
joining forces with the sea,
bidding a tearful farewell
to the plains and to its children
leaving sediments of this pain
that will spark memories
and grow cities 
for so many centuries-
Civilizations shall sing its praises
until they begin to fade-
when this mother's death
shall be blamed for its own decline.
Such is the circle of life, isn't it?
Everything is water,
water is everything.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Oops

The sun had set,
and your riparian whispers
dripped mischief
all over the wooden floor.
I tiptoed across the room
to draw the curtains
and shut out the world's eyes
from being able to see our dance
with a feline sneakiness
but the wood creaked below my feet
and you awoke from the reverie,
and now
we would have to wait 
another seventy-six years
for this comet 
of burning passionate glory 
to light up our night sky
and show us the stars.

Friday, 21 August 2020

Beginning


Did you just kiss me
Or was that the wing 
Of a moth flying too close 
To an angry flame
That caressed my skin 
Before flying back
Into darkness
Like nothing ever happened.
Like we didn't just share mouths.
Like the world hadn't just ended and began
With a new symphony
Announcing a new life
Together.