Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last semester

It is known as
The last semester madness
Where normal girls
Lose their heads
Talk in class
Wave to their classmates
When asked to go out,
Smile at boys
Blow flying kisses
Return admiring looks
Boldly receive
A love letter or two
Rag the poor fellow
When he comes
To learn of his fate
Send him away with dire warnings
Get into buses on the run
Sit on the steps
Barrack passersby
Make a nuisance
Of themselves in public
Dress outrageously
Set off crackers
Near the principal's office
Enjoy being rebels
Secretly hanker for a strike
So they can throw stones
Break a few windows
Go out with a bang.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time travel

This song of yesteryear
Shot in black and white
Sung by your favourite actress
Slow, sad and haunting
Full of feeling
The voice, character and mood
Seamlessly weaving
Leaping from childhood
On prime time
Takes you back
To days you can never go back to
In that distant town
Where people are not
Strangers to one another
Know who you are
Do not care what you are.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Standing in the rain

The wiper draws semicircles
On the windshield
The drizzle trickles like sweat
To the driver's left
I stand by the front seats
In a mildly crowded Sunday bus
Breezing downtown
Through the empty college road
Now turned a Monet
With the early street lights
Running wavy orange strokes
Down its length.
I watch the tall trees
Tamarind, sleepy-faced and the nameless ones
Looking even more alluring
In the shower.
I look around
For an empty seat
For a better view
Of the familiar sights
In their wet attire.
As no one gets off
I resign myself
To my standee position.
My stop is still some way off
But I cannot complain
For the rain suddenly
Breaks into a dance
On the puddles.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Night fall

An ailing old man
Your friend's father
Now left in your care
Just about able to move around his room
Can't see or hear too well
Confesses to you
That he wonders every morning
Why he wakes up at all
That he feels he's past his expiry date
And someone forgot to take him off the shelf.
Pa, there is someone to take care of you,
Bring you food, medicines
I drop in on you, now and then
You do not have to sleep on the streets
Or go sick or hungry to bed
Like so many who have nowhere to go.
"What purpose does my life serve anymore
I am not of any use to anyone!"
No, don't say that, anyone who has known you
Will see what every one comes to
Lose some of his vanity
Watch his next step or word.
We do not know who put us here
Often, we do not know what we are saying
Who prompts us, what the cues are
What the exit lines
Or, when the curtain will ring down.