Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Self-doubt in F Minor




SELF-DOUBT IN F MINOR

I like having a drink
On my own,
Elbows on the greasy pinewood table-top.
Like having a meal
Alone, watching the kitten
Fight its shadow.

Am I weird?

I love it when my exes’
Kids have kids,
I forget the wedding dates
Of in-laws' cousins,
Can't make a decent coffee
And let my dog with his dirty feet
On the bed.

I keep confusing mint leaves
With coriander
Buy unnecessary hundred-rupee trinkets
Drink gin with my son
And quietly write my will.

If there is an exam
To get on to the pedestal,
I guess I would be
an F minus.

Monday, April 29, 2019


Let Us

One day, beloved,
Let’s measure the path
From sand to sky,
From moonbeam to sun-ray,
From shark-fin to eagle-crest.

Let’s hold each other
By our little fingers, and
Dream together
Till the gripe water
From our babyhoods blend.

Let’s lie on our backs
On sawdust, counting
The feathers on each pink
Cloud.
Let’s lie on our faces
On a whale-back fountain,
Waltzing, for a change,
With our eyelashes.

Let us.

Thursday, November 15, 2018




Under the Siesta 

Aluminium
discarded
angelic and reflective
catches a glint of saintliness.

Spry as a caterwauling neon sign,
it settles
before splitting
lengthwise.

Froth.
From the needles to the pines,
the swamps to the sled-tracks,
it reigns.

Spilled over from bilious exhausts;
made, shrewdly, by the
white-clad, scheming, roof-light-laden
tramplers of pride.

Let's light a fuse,
the imbecile says.
The wise spit on his sentence
with a studied snarl.   

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Sockless

I’ve never seen you
in socks.

Flip-flops, sandals, boat shoes…

always.
Or, nothing at all.

When did you last

wear socks?
Not at a business meet,
not at a wedding.
Maybe in your school,
which I had never stepped into.

Today, I look up

and wish
 for your feet
at my door,

sockless.

Sunday, December 31, 2017



Silent Monsoon

Remember the sand that boiled
in our hands as we dug into the earth
together?

Remember the chain
that stretched to its limit
when we pedaled hard on 
our cycles?


Remember the shards
of skin that fell off
our knees, blending
into the soil, becoming
the feed
of earthworms?

Remember the round stains
our lassi glasses made
on the housefly-ridden
café counter?

Remember the future
that had crept in stealthily
into our words,
as we talked about
those high-flying glow-worms?

As I had smoked that
one Gold Flake King,
drinking the tea you had made
from a glass tumbler,
you had watched the raindrops
fall on the banana leaves
and roll off quietly.

Now, only the puddles remain,
and their song is lost
in the monsoon.

    

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Hyphens

Tom’s teacher told Tom,
‘A hyphen connects’.

Before Tom took off
to the hills,
He mixed all his hyphens
into a glass of juice
And gave it to his friend, Roy.

This poem was written by
the very-well-connected
Roy.   

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Wrinkle


Meeting you in
The hallway of pretensions,
I notice how you look
So out of place.

You break your steps
For a drink of water
From the mud-pot in the corner.

The crow watches.

You step over the shadow of
The minaret
That creeps in from across
The road onto the floor.
It tingles as it gets
The breeze, rustled down from the folds
Of your sari.


Tell me, what did you think of all my lies
When I had told them to you?
What do you think of them
Now?

Did you ever see anything
At all
In my gray and shameful ramblings,
In the repainted tin toys that
I had kept on your doorstep
And window-sill?

As we lay, face down,
On the cold ugly mosaic floor
With mismatched tiles,
Did your heart ever keep a feather
Over one of mine?

All our kisses we never tasted,
The hands we never held,
The wrinkles we never etched
In the grey, badly-embroidered sheets.
The goodbyes said early.
The hellos whispered with hope
And hung to dry in the monsoon sun,
The touches born of a hunger that
Never left its safe dark space…
All speak to me in
Braille today.

I close my eyes, my tongue, my ears,
My skin, my nail-tip,
Saving for another rainy day that
Will never arrive.

Thursday, October 26, 2017



Flicker


In your race to the pine-trees,
Did you trample the little
Green mushroom?


You may have felt a soft squish
Beneath your boot;
A tiny crack
Like a toad’s jaw breaking.

You stepped up and away,
Your eye on the firefly
That hovered over a cannabis bush.

I,
A veil of silverfish over my head,
Just stood
And watched.


Monday, June 19, 2017





FLOTSAM

Lightships do not bleed,
says the old man in the
wooden boat.

As the water-crabs claw sunsets
back into their throats,
the sea reaches for a blade
to slit their unsuspecting skins.

Serene hyacinth, monk
of the monsoon waves,

drums a dirge
on the rainbow-crowned backwater drops.

Six feet into the bay,
the dolphins dream
of a lost quay.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


A Chef's Pick-up Line

"Are you Rosemary,
or am I
Wasting my Thyme?"