Wednesday, April 30, 2014

heart of darkness

sledgehammer summer
beats down
with the droplets of sweat
down my spine
travels this moment

a Sufi melody
pours out
of a modern gadget
trance struggles to find
its way
through the modern beats

its 7.30 am
the birds chirp
the rat race
neck to neck
and some corners
of the soul
always dark
always quiet

swinging between
yes and no
questions wait
holding their breaths

TV sets, election rallies
cricket scores

noise noise noise
and amidst the chaos
my personal
heart of darkness !


Monday, April 28, 2014


As the hot steam scalded the skin
on the thumb and the forefinger
I asked time- what do you use to
erase fingerprints,

the written word is perpetual
or is it
backspace a few years
and try deleting a regret

the ointment is always cold
and slippery
like memory
we only retain the healing
conveniently forgetting
the nasty colour

lists and preferences
If life was just a network
it would be easy to sort
people into neat groups
notifications and specifications
no ramifications

choices are actually
the inevitability of options
its always either/or
hold on/let go

the NOs are as important
as the AYEs
what was more imperative
in that one moment
and in the next moment
life takes over again

Truth and lies
interchange costumes
the most used word of all
is also a four-lettered word
endearment and abuse

crony capitalists
all of us hide behind
a socialist mask
while constantly labelling
the others
fat dark crude simple
men women
gay single married
bastard bitch

nouns verbs
language the biggest
to create, to destroy !

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Nobody writes poems with disclaimers
or prose with warnings
just like patriarchy
has led women
to believe
only fair, slim and hairless
is acceptable.

Her smile is so warm
maybe because she has no words
or does she
will the voice machine in her ear
ever understand love

women come and go fretting over
the shape of an eyebrow
No dear Eliot
they no longer
bother about Michelangelo

Go,look for the men who
wrote poetry
about the brow?

the girl with a limp
always smiles

the soft fingers rub
a fruity smell into my skin
and I count the dead cells
of the mind
Is there a wonder scrub that induces
and erases all lines that time has cast

my palms look like the map
of a hidden treasure
only there are no destinations
just a long endless journey
the nails point at nothing

I am tired to even open my eyes
but the hands have changed
the postures, the stances
have altered
the eyes that once loved
now overlook, why life?

she parts my hair
and I am scared
what if she finds
the window to my mind
what if she knows
all my sinister thoughts

I miss the way my grandmother
rubbed oil into my reluctant skull
memory are you a hairdresser?

I don't remember her face
only a smell
of pickles,medicines
and loss.

I walk and walk
round and round
to nowhere
the maze is
my punishment.

each morning
is every morning
she says I look perfect
I am glad
she hasn't seen the scars.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Always is a myth

remembering and forgetting
that is all there is to it, the key of living of moving on, of letting go.

hoardings crying hoarse selling love, dream homes, ideal schools, dreams.
a hot cup of tea and someone to share it with is all I need then.

the kids do not know the ugly faces of growing up
they only see the glitter and the glamour
the power of shouting a NO emphatically

if every hurtful word killed even a single cell in the brain
half of us would be half dead if not more

blue isn't just a colour
its a mood he said
Is there a colour that is not a mood?
is there a mood that isn't a colour?

the same plots
with the same twists
and yet the characters may die differently

the sane ones are locked up in the asylums
the mad ones preach life lessons
and go back to their wretched loneliness
to invent new curses.

deserts and mountains
the beach with the sand and the water merging
the sea tossing and turning
in a constant wait
to spill over its cyclone sadness

the sun burning
giving the earth light and warmth
the earth has nothing to give back

some relationships
are always unequal, unrequited

the closures that never happen
the gratitude never paid
the forgiveness never sought
wounds of time the only medals

never before, never again
always is a myth.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Rendezvous with a Sufi

Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, Delhi

through the maze like lanes
going from nowhere to forever
and the meaningless
noises of the world

I arrive at your doorstep
and let my burning soul heal
as my forehead
touches the marbled kindness
spread out as the floor
for the careless world
to tread on

I bend my head
and you whisper
"let your myth unfold"

your unseen warmth
seeps into
my frayed edges
the rendezvous is complete
I am whole again !

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


no froth
no bubbles
from the stagnant
waters of the mind


holier than thou

"We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”
―     Leo Tolstoy WAR AND PEACE

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Women of tomorrow and Election 2014

The sun is about to set in Delhi on what they are calling the election of the century #Election2014. In a society park little girls between 5 to 12 years huddle by a swing for chit-chat and play. The most important topic who wore what on which day and who repeats her dresses most.
What's wrong with that? Probably the growing up of our kids beyond their years faster than we imagine is what's wrong. They no longer talk of fairy tales or games.

The next topic #election2014. The slightly older ones say condescendingly you can only vote when you are 18. But only boys become prime ministers says one. The others laugh," No stupid, Indira Gandhi was also prime minister." 

Thank you Indira Gandhi I mutter, whatever were the reasons or the political motivations you still inspire some hope for our girls. But the little one born only a few years ago has only seen men as presidents and Prime ministers, not her fault if she does not relate to you I argue with myself.


And then comes the shocker, "You know only men know "kisko vote dena hai" ( who to vote for). Why?, ask two little ones simultaneously. My dad was telling my mom and my elder sister to vote for M****, and we must always obey our father. Papas are heads of family you know.


I peer into my phone's screen Mulayam Singh Yadav is condoning RAPE and  suddenly I do not blame the illiterate women in the villages of UP who cast their vote where there men ask them to. I am looking inwards, at educated women like myself and how they let go of every iota of power that they can possibly have only for the elusive ghar ki shanti (peace at home).

I wanted to talk to these women of tomorrow but they have run away by then.

From the shacks across the boundary wall  the light of a single bulb filters through, I look at the multi-storeyed apartments and I see their shallow core producing another generation of unaware exploited women.


The sun has set.
On our way back my daughter asks,"Mumma you know who I will vote for?" I tell her," You don't need to tell me or anyone its your right and only you should know."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I am the fool
for I will not
give up the
to find new words
and newer meanings
for old ones

this is my
malady and the remedy
I am the fool
to speak my mind
and not mince my words

I am the fool
I have no masks
the same foolish face
for all seasons

I am the fool
for I fool the world !


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