Sunday, October 9, 2011


Some days are like today, bookended by birth and death;

the year sheds a day, round goes the earth and sheds a dear's life.

What impact his life had, how blessed his soul was,

we will never know again - the blessed ones aren't allowed to come down,

once away from us, they go.


Silhouettes keep marching towards the purple sky,

their limpid vision mocks us, a bit harshly -

Any colour you like, will be rendered pale white,

We are all alike, in the end, subject to the same plight.

Once in your life, you will march here, with us or alone,

the light dimmed, the life saddened, death prone.


I have never seen snow, nor felt snow fall over me,

nor built a snow man, nor bruised my hand falling from a ski.

Nor have rolled around on a carpet,

shivering in the chill wind, the ice melting over my skin.

Our city is blessed (or cursed), winter having been ejected by the climate Goddess,

from the list of seasons it experiences.

To duck and run from one awning to the other that dot Mylai,

escaping snow flakes as it falls from the sky,

to watch the snow pile up and submerge the slush outside Anna Nagar,

to rub gloved hands and walk along the Marina,

to have heaters in the Volvos that run to Tambaram.

Ye Alchemists! You have your task cut out:

Let snow fall over Chennai and from not just the pages of a Pamuk's novel.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


One fine morning,
a pair of hitchhiking clouds gave their sore limbs a well deserved rest,
heaving badly, nauseating, wanting to get something off their chest.
They stopped above where I stood, wondering loudly, to whom they could,
reveal where they have been, what they have seen.

To them, I said aloud:

Oh you irreverent ones! weightlessly drifting across the sky;
Your eyes ever roving over us,
this worthless world open to your pry.
Oh you freeloading hitchhikers! Reveal to us - the cause of your blues!


To an addled mind, acute replies won't make sense;
So make your answer brief and not very dense.


Long ago, thunder and lightning scarred the sky one night,
janky notes filled the air, like fingers scooting over keys black and white.
A boy's feet left its prints on parched lands -some linear, some circular;
whooping with joy, his tread light, what truth did the boy learn
that filled his heart with delight?

The boy was from a village,
far and beyond, from what constituted arable land.
A land misplaced by time, thatched roofs, nettled fences, sticky slime.
Its occupants busy with neem sticks early morning,
biting, chewing, and expecting,
the sun to shine and the moon to mime.

A cool wind blew the morning he walked out of his house,
his stiff gait losing its composure, with every feet forward his anger though undoused.
His head was freshly tonsured, paste of sandal applied over his mowed hair,
cooling his thoughts, lessening the glare.
His mind was full of anger,
at the pond outside his house, as dry as a masochist's eyes,
at the land that he walked on, cracking up like a skull struck by a steel rod;
at the perpetual drought, at the breeze that crept up his shirt,
at the bird's carcass that lay in the dirt.

At the centre of the village, he waited under the old banyan tree,
its lanky branches flung afar, swaying lightly in the breeze.
Sat at the centre, beside the old idol, humming to the toll of the bells,
was the sage, old enough to spin lengthy tales,
stroking his white beard, guaranteeing relief.
To him our boy walked up, his anger still uncontrolled, his gait broken.

Seated beside the old sage, our boy seethed -

Oh noble sage! tell me one thing -
the pond outside my house why is it dry?
This land, dry as a crone's wrinkle, so dry,
at nights, the stars here cringe to twinkle.

This land, unclothed by beauty, unloved by the skies,
uncared, uncherished, has mother nature severed her ties?

And look around us, beyond this land, there is only water;
waters of the ocean salty and blue,
but this water I speak of is so far,
start walking now and you reach there a corpse.
Tell me, oh great one! What is wrong,
when I say there is no water
and hence no truth?

The sage whispered a long reply in the boy's ear,
his eyes relaxed as the truth dawned clear.
With the wisdom easing his truculent visage,
before long, the boy's face was shorn of the mindless rage.

Whooping with joy, his tread light, what truth did the boy learn
that filled his heart with delight?