Thursday, November 15, 2007

Inviting

The sodium vapour lamps
Come on early like the night
Despite the illumination
My glasses look like they need changing
The air in my lungs
Whistles as it comes out
I think I should wear my woollens
Next time I dare to stir out
When I see girls go laughing along the road
Savouring cone ice creams
Mocking the nip in the air
Even death seems seductive
(Published in Kavya Bharati)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Neighbours

Doors bang shut
At footfalls on stairs
Conversations freeze
For the intruder to pass
Faces turn away
At chance encounters
Or make strained smiles
I know these vain bipeds
Owning prime square feet
Sniff at tenants like me
"Lock the gate!"
Somebody yells at me
I sheepishly turn back and obey
Outside on the street
Mongrels in a turf war
Bare fangs and snap at each other
(Published in the Kavya Bharati)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Tomorrow

I looked for tomorrow and tomorrow
Hope rising with every sun
Yet only yesterday came, like yesterday
In rags, clutching obsolete coins
Pointing somewhere ahead
Where the road curved
"I've seen him in my dreams
Rosy-cheeked, white-robed
Sometimes with a halo
Sometimes with a sword!"
Down the very road I've been
He hobbled on, with others in tow
Each clutching the god
He was born with
Muttering familiar prayers
Of paradise for the poor
Freedom from birth
Of messiahs and avatars
Coming again
Pointing somewhere ahead
Where the road curved
Looking for tomorrow
And tomorrow and tomorrow
And finding only yesterday, like yesterday
(Published in Kavya Bharati)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Unswept house

I turn back at the door
For a last look, once more
At my home, no more
All bare, bar
Memory's footprints
On the wall
Where hung till yesterday
Frozen moments of fleeting joy ---
Toddler, degree-holder, newly wed ---
Two score years gone like a dream
Yet how harsh those summers were
Like hell's fire, burning, without destroying
I look at the floor
The landlady did not want wiped clean
I lock the door
Someday, I will be leaving
Another home, on other feet
Leaving behind, some pain, perhaps
Much relief, and, deathless verses
(Published in Kavya Bharati)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cooum

Near the cinema
Stripping women of their souls
The river quietly breathes
Stoic like a saint
Though dying of the city's sins
On the bridge
The harlot
Too weary to walk the streets
Stands staring at the waters
Mourning the river
She had lost
In her hamlet green
Where it skipped like a girl
Without a care
Frothing, foaming, giggling
Unlike the river here
Dying of the city' s sins
(Published in Kavya Bharati)