Friday, December 25, 2009


No one calls me by name, anymore
The postman, yes, but that's official
(I get hardly any mail these days)
My parents, playmates, close colleagues,
I've survived them all ---
Standing on this 80-plus dizzy peak
Is not a feat I'm proud of
Does the summiteer know
The vanity of conquest?
Or if he knows
Does he admit it?
I am afraid
I'll forget my name, soon
If no one uses it
I might even think
It is someone else they're calling
(That is, as long as I can hear)
Just to avert that possibility, (keep this confidential)
I look at the mirror, every morning
Greet myself, loudly
"Hello, Ambi, how are you!"
"I'm fine, thank you!"
I smile and nod at my hang-dog image
I tell him
"Be a companion unto yourself!"
However, I would rather, someone else
Came calling my name, soon
"Ambi, your time is up.!"
Would I not go bounding
Like a dog to his master?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


From inside the locked wooden cupboard
Our landlord had abandoned
In a corner of the hall
Right against the wall
Everyone often heard
Something sinister
Sometimes a whisper,
A scrape, a sniffle, a him or her
Especially on a cold night or a deserted hour.
All who were called in, well
Had a story to tell
"Must be the landlady's sister's spirit!
The one who hanged herself, desperate!"
An elderly lady said, as if with envy.
Children hoped aloud for a genie
That would fetch them, grateful
The dark shop halwa, by the plateful
Before they would let it fly
With a reluctant goodbye
Like they did the dotted butterfly
They caught the other day
As it lay drunk or dreaming on a flower.
"Let's open it and find out, what's in there!"
The curiosity getting the better of fear
The key was fetched and someone flung the double doors open
Older children standing guard with raised makeshift weapon ---
Younger ones, ready to run, by the door ---
What a blow! What a letdown!Nothing was there! Nothing but air!
Not even a note with a curse
Leave alone an imp or spirit or worse.
And worse --- the noise stopped abruptly after
It was heard no more
Though we wished we could, once more
And kept our ears open
Wanting to be shaken
Out of our wits, again.
Though we begged the cupboard to speak
Wanted it to squeak
Implored it didn't look right
It didn't budge, just stood quiet.
Somehow, it didn't seem fair
That the cupboard was bare
That someone didn't care.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


When I struggled
Out of the wreckage of my nightmare
On the wall was spread out
The sun
Deliciously golden, warm and edible
The crow happily cawed
As if it had found something to eat
The leaves wet with rain
Shivered with delight
At the touch of the breeze
One was just happy to be awake and alive
Quite at home with the clutter
Of a house lived in
It was almost like heaven
Before the gadfly came in