Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A few things about depression

The weather is bed ridden
Clouds, are semi suicidal
Birds on benzodiazepines
The drizzle is black in colour

Trees depressed
Leaves sad, in a way
The breeze moans
Extreme euphoria, followed by a painful low

Wish life was simplistically redemptive
OCD and phobias forsaken by Fluoxetine
Reading Hamlet is a consolation of sorts
A smile at the end, a cure for the worries

Our planet suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome
It yawns all the time, its diet is in doldrums
Does not get out of bed - watches thrash TV
With an acupuncturist, its health is improving

We try reiki, reflexology and hypericum
Sometimes its the Ravel Piano Concerto in G
We even try a bit of religion - and alcohol
In the hope that the two souls in the breast, shall bloom

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A footnote to GPD

As I turn pages
Of a small book
The spine shuts
The words weep

Your final outsidedness indicates
No more midnight rides in a rickshaw
With Laxmikant Pyarelal who you heard
And clearly hated - as much as Kalyanji Anandji

The night sky sighs
Stars declare a bandh
Paradise, disintegrates
Into nether-world dialectics

God and Satan
Plus Karl Marx
Welcome you
Along with Ram Bapat

But on planet earth, who'll provide answers to questions
Located in high theories and modernist occlusions
No one to belt out the narrative, in broken syntax
On par to Dostoevsky and perhaps even Musil

GPD: This adieu to you
Should be penned in Marathi or Mandarin
All that prevails is silence
And an empty glass of whiskey

Monday, October 7, 2013

Goodbye Love

What is this thing, they call love?

Should love be taught?

Should love be read from sacred text?
Should love be served in a tea cup?
Should love be Buddhist?
Or Bahaist?

Should love be a medicine?

And imbibed thrice a day?
Or should love be injected?
Should there be a love surgery?

Should love be a poem?

Should love be a trifle?
Or polite amusement?
Should love be aesthetic?
Should love be anesthetic?

Should love be about caring?

Should it be pure?
Should love be about the dregs of our society?
Should love be imperfect?
Isn't it so, always?

Is love, impossible?

Is love a mere trifle
Is love pastime?
As it has been since the fifteenth century?

Should love be in isolation?

Should love have a home, a habit, a costume, a cuisine, a language?
Should love be bourgeois?
Should love be noble?
Or it can be profane?

Should flowers love?

What about butterflies?
Likewise are rocks susceptible to love?
Who is a better person?
One who knows no love?
Or one with too much of love?

Will a space ship discover an iota of love on Mars?

Should love be Laila-Majnu, so that we revel in their love?
Should a civilization be measured by its love index?
Can we replace the rose with a daffodil  as a symbol of love?
Can we not offer mice and cockroaches, instead?

Is love impotent?

Is love voluptuous?
Is love spiritual?
Or is love, stupid?
Is love wise?
Is it fatal?

Should love preach what love has never practiced?

Is love commerce?
Is love communist with a dab of red?
Is there more love on display at airports than ports?
Much more love on sms than in the streets and roads?

Should young people flock to universities to study a course on love?

That would mean a million dissertations on love.
Will that make love pedagogical?
Does love speak many tongues?
If yes, can love be translated?

Can one find love in the dark?

Can one search for love with a torchlight?
What if one stumbles?
Will love prop you up?
Or spurn you?

Is love chivalrous?

Does love shrug its shoulder?
Does love blow its nose?
Does love brood?

Why are anecdotes about love unreliable?

Who understands love?
Priests or psychiatrists?
Can one understand love?
Should one?

Perhaps love should be enshrined in our constitution?

May be one should go down on one knee and propose to love?
Is that the love etiquette?
Or am I being delusional?
Have I always been so?

Does love laugh?

Does love apologise?
Is love shy?
Is love outspoken?
Does love write love poems to other love poems?

Is love dire?

Is love absurd?
Is love all about exchanging sweet nothings?
Or hurling abuses across continents?
Do continents love?
When is the last time you heard about something such falling in love?

When should one love?

Should one fall in love in the afternoon?
Should jowar and bajra be served along side?
Or should love be sipped with coffee decoction?

Is love feminine?

Or is love macho?
Is love philosophical?
Is love inscribed on an indoor hoarding at Delhi airport?
Or can love be borrowed from a poem by Muktibodh?

What is the first love story, ever?

Is there a record of it?
Is love a privilege of the rich?
Is love a necessity of life?
Is love entertainment?
Should we tax love?

Can we pluck love from the leaves of shrub?

Who loves most? The French, the Manchus, the Tangs, the Huns, the Peruvians?
Do the souls of dead people love?
Is love deathly?

Is love shameless?

Should we set aside one hour every morning, and love?
Should we love, once a day?
Or should we love in the evening, in the midnight, and above all, in the
Or 20 tiny doses in one day?

Is love demure?

Does love sleep?
Does love day dream?
Is love slothful?
Is love decadent?
Was it always decadent?

Should we make jokes about love?

Does love have a sense of humour?
Or like hate it protests, much?
Has there been a rally against love?
Should we ban love?

Should we boil love in a kettle?

Should love be cooked?
Or classified?
For example: Classical Love, the Romantic Love, and Platonic Love?

Does love get rheumatic pains and drowsiness?

Does love have a blue toe?
Does love get headaches?
Does love believe in ayurveda?
Does love stay awake till 2.37 am every day?

Does love look at itself in the mirror?

Does love adorn boots and gloves
Does love powder its nose?
Does love rejoice?

Do gods love?

And satan?
Does love have many followers?
Or more gurus than disciples?
Should we organise love tournaments?
And award trophies for the rarest and finest quality of love

Does love have an aroma?

Or has it decayed?
Is love treason?
Is love devastation?
Is love porn?
Or is love full of woes?
Or is love elixir?
Or exhaustion?

Should one knock on the door and then enter the world of love?

Or stand outside the gate?
Can we take a sip of love from an earthen pitcher?
Or is love vacuum?
Is love emptiness?
Or is love the vegetable dyes in a miniature painting?
Or the ashes after a fire?
Or gilded baldachinos in love's eyes?

Is love sacrilege?

Is love loneliness?
Is love all about yearning for freedom?
Do the 16,000 gopis of Krishna know true love?
And Krishna; what about him?

Is love unsymmetrical?

Is love vain?
Is love monotonous?
Is love fraudulent?
Is love vexatious?

Is love in the leaves?

Or in the roots?
Is love an instrument?
Or is love a melody?
Who tunes the strings?
Who composes the songs?
Who cuts the album?
Who sells it as merchandise?

Is love a porcelain vase which has broken into fragments?

Is love over?
Should all of us leave?
With our tears?
And say our adieus to love and exit from the room

Wherever you are

Goodbye, my love

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ten terrifying thoughts for today

Ten terrifying thoughts for today
1. If meaninglessness was a currency, we would be the richest country in the world.

2. Is India still Third World? Or are we part of the 2.5 World, now?

3. Perhaps one way to become 2.5 is get pigeons to airdrop currency in every village in the country. I feel this will be a better multiplier than subsidies; plus it will stimulate the economy.

4. Perhaps the problem is that the government quit being a government long ago. Perhaps it's very simple. The Government needs a new pair of spectacles. It's vision is blurring.

5. Perhaps the Congress and BJP would be doing India a favour by becoming each other for a day; instead of combating one another. Unless they are already doing it; and that's why we have this gridlock.

6. They say, there's a new Godzilla in town. It's called The Bureaucrat. His primary job is not to add any real value and create complications; and use words like historically and Keynesian and ten trillion in one sentence.

7. One super bright idea: Lets waive taxes to all Indian billionaires. Unless some super bright civil bureaucrat has already implemented this super bright idea.

8. Perhaps the brightest Indians are offshore; like most of our money.

9. What if ad agencies created free campaigns about really smart people and propagated their really smart ideas? Will that change things? Or confuse us further? For instance: The election commissioner should distribute condoms to CEOs of parties before the next election; so that political parties don't give birth to newer political parties.

10. Meanwhile for those of us who don't know what to do, can run their fingernails on a blackboard; and cause generic annoyance. Or attend the next toddy party.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Three really short plays that no one can perform


One person with a mike ...
One person or many persons who perform while the person on mike speaks out ...
Basic props ...

It should have a fairy-talesque quality to it ..


(Pointing to person who will act).

This is me.
Well, look carefully, it's almost me.
There's a certain uncanny resemblance.

If you observe carefully.

Our RED blood corpuscles, they match.


You could call me what you want.
But good people in these parts call me A BEMUSED COMMONER.
That's what is mentioned on my ration card.

Also my driver's license, my birth certificate, my adhaar.

One day I've a dream.
It's a terrific dream about utopia.
You see, I suffer from a disease.
It's called idealism.
And idealism as some of you know is ... a fatal illness.
Medical science has no cure for it.

Yet, I've these terrific dreams about say, the nation.
It is simple, really.
In my dream ... I ... THE BEMUSED COMMONER ... am the PM.
I am going to save this nation.
A kind of fictional nation.
Which my friend, and she is very clever, says is what all nations are.
A fiction.

It is my first day at the job.
It is 4 a.m. my PA wakes me up.
I start to do yoga.
Breathe in.

Breathe out.

While I am breathing my PA hands me a pink coloured vanilla folder. 
It notifies me about the itinerary for the day.
I've 13 meetings, seven inaugurations, 29 briefings.

A few chances to have my salad with nimboo paani and chew on coca leaves.

I bathe.
Nothing quite like a cold shower in the New Delhi winter.
Good for the brains.
I don't say that. 

FDR does. 
And FDR is FDR.

So much to do ... 

So much to do ...
I'm so busy.

Rush Rush Rush.

Files to read.

Decisions to make.
I have to hoist the flag and listen to blind children sing two patriotic songs.

Rush Rush Rush.

In my Ambassador car.
I meet the additional secretary.

He briefs me about the committee on raw minerals promotion in Ghana.

Rush Rush Rush.

I lay a single flower on the memorial of the 6th Vice President.
They say, he died.

All because of a vice.

Rush Rush Rush.

I Skype with the Governor of Tripura. 
He tells me, his bitch has bred puppies. 
He wants me to suggest names. 
For ... all 99 of them.
Then he tells me seats are vacant. 
What to do? 
Fill them, I guess, is what I say. 
How, he asks? I say, with people. 
He says, we don’t have a policy for such a thing. 
Find the policy, then, I say. 
My PA tells me, we can't do no such thing. 
We are government. 
We are not in the finding business.
Okay, I say.

Rush Rush Rush.

I attend a two-hour lunch with the foreign minister of Guatemala.
In this meet our President recites Rabindro Sangeet.
Yet again.

Rush Rush Rush.

I attend a secret meeting.
It is so secretive that no one knows what the secret is.

Rush Rush Rush.

I attend a V.VIP meeting in which everyone is so V.VIP ... 
Except me ...
Since I am a BEMUSED COMMONER ... remember!
Everyone munches on their V.VIP biscuits.

Sip tea from their V.VIP crockery. 
Make suitable V.VIP sounds. 
It's all very very very very VIP. 
I want to take a pee. 
But I can't since a V.VIP don't pee.
Did you know that?

They simply don't pee. 
Someone removed their bladders. 
Peeing is a wasteful activity. 
It disrupts national productivity.
And V.VIPs can't waste their time.

Rush Rush Rush.

I have two Mosambis for dinner.

Rush Rush Rush.

I still have 13 meetings, seven inaugurations, 29 briefings.
It is late in the night, I am tired.
Very tired.

I ... THE BEMUSED COMMONER want to resign from the post of PM.
But I cannot.

Since I'm too exhausted to sign the said document.
My pathos is toppled by my state.

I sigh.

It is ALMOST 12 on the night of 26th. 
My PA walks in and says: SIR: we've a crisis on hand.
I sigh, again.
It's the start of another fucking day


Freeze tableau.

The end.


This is me.
Well, it's almost me. 
Cause it could also be my clone.
There's a certain uncanny resemblance. 

If you observe carefully, our WHITE blood corpuscles, they match.


You could call me what you want.
But good people in these parts call me A BEMUSED COMMONER.
The thing is, like everyone else in this country I have a super specialisation.

Some are kumbhars.
Some are dhobhies.
Some are mochies.
Some are plain lazy.

And I?
I'm a statistician.
This is my calculator. 
These are its solar buttons. 
I love to press buttons.

You see,
Statistics is the elixir of my life.
It's a genetic thing. 

Totally hereditary.
Pressing buttons.

All together.

As most of you know, five men, Conring, Achenwall, Süssmilch, Graunt and Petty have been honoured as the founder of statistics. 
BUT unknown to the rest of the universe, the sixth is my grand-mother.
This is she - my grand-mother.

The one with a clueless mustache. 
All people in my family have a clueless mustache. 
It's a family patent: cluelessness.

I always carry her passport picture in my wallet.
My grand-mother is a one woman plenary committee of statistics.

She is a one woman golden jubilee celebration of statistics.
Everything is a statistic for my grandmother.

Using bio-statistics.
She has calculated the number of sugar crystals required in a cup of kaafi.
Using Mean Square Weighted Deviation MSWD, she has worked out how many droplets of water required for a perfect bath.
Using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient she worked out how many shoves and pushes are required to produce a perfect baby.

My point being.
Not that statisticians have a point.
My grand-mother had a statistical enumeration for everything.
Famines, riots, floods, earthquakes.
Everything has been worked out to a statistical nicety. 
From road accidents to dowry deaths.

Consider this.
Kosi river:Two million homeless because 85 per cent of the 1.5 lakh cubic feet per second of river water displaced them
1,800 people were killed and hundreds missing on the Tamil Nadu coast due to a Richter 8.9 earthquake.
1000 diarrhea deaths among children.
Daily, again:
42 farmer suicides.

In this way all things in the world are reduced to the orderly world of numbers, numerals, and their computation.

Everything is well.
Until one day my grandmother attends a ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION about the best statistical system in the world.It is the grand-mother of all ROUND TABLES.
The reason it is called ROUND TABLE is: 
Everything will go ROUND and ROUND in a circle.
This is my grandmother's favourite joke.
She cracks this joke in all the 17 languages she knows.

I love my grandmother.
She asks me, you love me, in how many languages.
I say seven; since I know only seven. 
All of them pretty awfully though.
Grandmother says, love is unconditional. 
You can love awfully.
I like that.

Anyways, sorry for the digress.


So, as I was saying.
All these statisticians are locked up in a room.
There is a BIG DEBATE on:
What is the best system in the world. 
The Epidemiology system v/s Structured data analysis. 
Chi-square test v/s Econometrics analysis.
And so on.

The statisticians start to quarrel.
Biff Baff Boom.
Numbers are hurled at each other with impunity.
Prime numbers hurt the least.
Fractions cause maximum damage.

A Pause.

A BEMUSED COMMONER (that's me) asked my grandmother what happened at the ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION?
Grandmother curls her mustache (the one that is clueless).

She looks at her notes.
She smiles: 11 abuses. 13 slaps. 23 scratches. One hospitalised.
The ROUND TABLE is suspended.

I thought the days of statistics are numbered ...
As always, I am wrong.
One day, grandmother perks up and says ...
On 26th November, 173 people were killed and 308 were injured.
I say, that's right, grand-mother.

She says: Son (although, technically, I am a grandson).
Can you get me a proper statistical break-up of the figures? ....


THE BEMUSED COMMONER (that's me) kicks myself 22/7 times. 
And my grand-mother, she cackles 3.14 times.

Statistics zindabad.
Baaki sab kuch murdabad



Freeze tableau.

The end.


This is me.
Well, it's almost me. 

Although bits and pieces of me are disintegrating. 
Especially my smile. 
It wanes, daily.
There's a certain uncanny resemblance. 
For example, if you observe carefully, our BLACK blood corpuscles, they match.



You could call me what you want.
But good people in these parts call me A BEMUSED COMMONER.
What am I doing?
I'm running.
Please nb: It is NOT for health reasons.
Although my doctor advises me that I should run for health reasons.

Since I'm over-weight and obese like a hippopotamus.

Anyways ... 
Here I am
Running because I'm a coward.
Every time there is half a problem I run away from it.

Once I ran all the way to Sanjan. 
This is in between Umergaon and Thalliserri
On the west coast.
Zoroastrian refugees sought asylum in Sanjan.

In c. 936.
Perhaps I seek it now.

Why am I THE BEMUSED COMMONER telling you all this?
Because in Sanjan I saw a walking mango tree.
This is fact not fable. 

Cause, trees do walk, you know.
It is a 1,200 year tree with upside down roots.

These roots enter the ground. 
Due to a unique botanical process, this ensures the tree "walks" one metre, every year.

The BEMUSED COMMONER that's me, is impressed.
I salute the tree.
A gentle breeze is in the air.
I sit under the tree.
There is silence.
Followed by suffocating silence.
For THREE minutes.
After that it IS pretty easy.

So I sit some more.

Time passes.

Suddenly, a local mob appears.
The mob applauds lustily.
Copies of my silent speech are distributed to the audience.
Everyone reads it in silence.
Re-prints are ordered.
Blogs and such carry a bit of my silence.

Arnab Goswami comes to interview me.
Since the nation wants to know the answer.
But he can't.
Oh yes, even he can't.
Since I'm silent.
So he lights a candle.

And SILENTLY goes away.

I'm the new oracle.
I'm the new knowledge.

I am the new truth?
I am something for every someone.

Some say, I'm advocating socialism. 
Others say its Gandhism.
No no, it's communism. 

Yes, yes, its Hinduism.
I think, he is an imperialistic stooge. 

Did you know, his wife's wedding was funded by Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia.
He is supporting democracy. 

No, he wants military rule.
BEWARE: he is a neo-liberal proto-secular quasi-capitalist.
Arre, arre, did you know, he attends Modi's rallies.
Arre, arre, he writes letters to Mayawati?
And so on.


THE BEMUSED COMMONER that's me, is mythologised.
Editorials are written about me.
The Speaker moots a special session ABOUT ME in Parliament. 

He wants to host a joint session.
BUT the BEMUSED COMMONER that's me, remains silent.

World leaders come to me and start to seek my advise.
Obama can't come. 

So he sends me an eMail. 
Will you be President in 2016?

The other leaders want to know how we can solve this problem
(They are building a fly-over through my bedroom, one says) 
Or an emergency 
(They are building a bedroom on the fly-over).

The BEMUSED COMMONER that's me, remains silent.
The world leaders persist. 
Gates comes with his wife. 
So does Ambani (both brothers) with wives and chamchas
They place a cheque at my feet.

So I open one eye.
I ask the world leaders to follow me.

They do.

There is silence.
I raise my right forefinger.
Everyone follows.
I place it into my left nostril.
Everyone does likewise.
I raise my left forefinger.
The leaders follow.
I place it into my right nostril.


Then I proceed to dig my nose.



It's pleasure.
Unmitigated pleasure.
And as you must have realised.
Such a simple answer to the problem.
There's silence.

A silent sort of silence.
Everyone is busy digging their nose.

The United Nation issues a notification.
It says:
One way to solve the problem is, for everyone in the world to follow THE BEMUSED COMMONER, that's me.
Everyone must dig their nose, all the time.
Come what may.
That's how it is.



Freeze tableau
During the freeze tableau all actors ...
And hopefully members of the audience ... 
Plus world citizens, big and small ... 
Should put their right forefinger in their left nostril ...
And left forefinger in their right nostril ...

This is repeated one million and one times, approx ...

The end.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Three Manasvi Poems

Manasvi Poem 1.

Once upon a time and the time is now
I am in a train to my parent's gaon
Travel up-north to my home in Dharampur
D'pur is it’s pet name; and it has a nice sur

Here, dust and donkeys are available for free
A hill called Mohangadh which spreads religious glee
Why this is so, I never quite knew why
But hey, in D'pur we have the world's best sky

There is a planetarium; a museum for music
So many doctors; that no one is ever sick
A statue of Shrimad Rajchandra to do a Namaskar
All the town needs now, is a really fancy bar

Manasvi Poem 2.

You’re such a pain, Mr Pig-ling,
Swallowing all kinds of things,
Whether it is plastic or paper
And behaving like a king

I wish you ate some grass
And like a cow you mooed
Instead of eating Papa's medical book
Which was bound together by glue

Piglingn of Dpur, please mend your ways
And start to behave like your herd
I am an engineer now, heed to what I’ve to say
Or I’ll make you eat your pigling words!!!

Manasvi Poem 3.

Once upon a time there was me
Well … my name is Manasvi
As is plain to see

The day I was born was the day I appeared
Though I don’t remember how I was reared
Like all babies that are born I went boo-hoo-hoo;
That's when I wished I could quite simply YAHOO.

Faffling; Baltering; Soodling; ZXLOTCH,
Sossing; Rundle; Tiddle; SPLOTCH
My right side up. And upside down
I wish I could get rid of this permanent frown

This to me is how the world appears
Such a disconcerting place, oh dear, oh dear
Manasvi Can’t Yahoo – either there or here
In spite of the fun and games - I've a fear

Atul and Manipal and idiorhythmic
What came first, the egg or chick?
Barcelona and Krakow and arthropod
Whatever happens, I'll never pray to god

Columbia or Harvard; Hippemolgoi
Star World; Computer Science; endomorphi
When will I Yahoo? Come on, give me a date?
Or will this world move on, at such a fast rate?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Princess of Peekaboo


No mogra flowers
To decorate
The hearse
No farishtas

To welcome
In heaven
Even Yama
Has given up


There is 
An undetermined location
Of which no one knows
So this is a secret
Between you and I

As things go 
In the middle of our nation
Exists a smallish aberration
Concealed by a cloud
With a smallish forest, a smallish meadow
A smallish spring
Surrounded by tall walls of steel

This undetermined location 
Found on no longitude or latitude
Is inhabited by
Who Fear Nothing
Seated on their sofa sets
As high as a hillock
Made of red particoloured wood
Maintaining a temperate mood

Who Fear Nothing
Expect the planet

To walk on their knees
As they munch on algorithms
In pieces of broken crockery

For dessert 
They suck at the perspiration
Of the people
Till exhausted

The people jump off terraces, hang themselves
Or drink pesticides.

Who Fear Nothing
Speak in cryptic rhyme
To each other
To ensure pontification
And ramble-fication
And ghazalification

At night, they wave their encrypted wand 
That ensures a barbiturate and anacin overdose
Planting melancholy in the soil of our land
They inject pessimism in the water supply
Two taps in the public toilets: doom and gloom
So that tomorrow
When someone somewhere jumps
In front of a train
It causes copycat suicides

In this way 
Who Fear Nothing
Ensure a non-stop supply of suicides
One way to end (forever) the ennui
The entire operation carried out
Undercover of a no moon night
With an old-fashioned mantra
Pointing at the forehead
That causes the body to be flung

Skulls smashed at the bottom of a well

So all in all 
Everything is tip top
For the
Aroma of the Nag Champa
It lingers
Sort of hangs in mid air

Threatens to enter the lair
Who Fear Nothing

Who Fear Nothing
Off their gas masks
Sniff with their nose
It brings a smile

Who Fear Nothing
Start to fear

An anti-smile ordinance is issued
To the department of defence
"Please: Trample the aroma of Nag Champa with deo
Don't get a psychiatrist; just crush it under a hippo-rhino"

Over and out

In this way 
Who Fear Nothing
Save their fortress
From a new kind of foe

The frangipaani incense

Hums a ditty
She adorns a saree and drifts
With the decaying wind
All the way from here to Sind

Who Fear Nothing
Have an inside out frown
On their brow

They don’t want an end
To the
Reign Of Mental Disorder
They consume a bottle of rum
Fornicating on their bright green bed
Due to a rare pedigree of vellum

What happens next? 
That too, shall be subsequently told
Wait and pay heed

Remember: This tale is worth its weight in gold


In the bowel of this undetermined location
Of IQ-freeze and sterilisation
There levitates a cream-coloured box
Six locks to its bottom
Made of hand-crafted paper
To reach it you have to open a trapdoor
Very very high
Up in the sky

You need no map
A good nose will suffice
To follow the scent of
The Indian Magnolia in the region
Red coloured petals that sigh

Who Fear Nothing
Tried to trample it under their feet
It started a domino effect
Laughter was sterilised

In all this
There is the aroma of the Nag Champa
Which leads the people to
The Princess of Peekaboo
She looks out of a quarantined window
Left profile

Sulphur light glows on her nose ring
Clumsily lodged on her left nostril

She says 
See me
In a way
I am lit
By my own sun

Just then 
Hundred yellowish crows arrive on the scene
They caw caw tales from her past

Perch noisily on her head
Like a Greek chorus, they prophesize
Her future drips from their beaks

It's a sign from the gods 
Rescue me, she says
Who Fear Nothing

How can we rescue you? 
O Princess of Peekaboo
Ask the crows
Can we hide the noose that has been designed for you?
Can we offer you the original Mona Lisa painting?
Can offer you a helpline to hell?
Can we the crows perform the Swan Lake?
Can we?

The Princess of Peekaboo 
Who has seen it all
During her days on the Island of Hypocrisy
Retreats into world weariness
Her scrap book of cut-and-pasted tragedy
In that cream-coloured box
That has an aroma
Of the Naga Champa

She tries a smile 
But tears appear
Out of her mouth
Becoming a kernel
That flies away
With those crows

Who Fear Nothing
Know about this
Seated on the marble balustrade
Sipping on their mustard coffee
They apply Amrutanjan
On people problems

They spout high philosophy
Speak jurisprudence and equity
About profit and loss
In the interim 
There is a criss-cross

Life it catches up
As it tends to do
Nine shots of vodka I gulp in one go

Life circles the earth
As I disembark the 4.44 local
Smithereens my liver sclerosis
Once and for all

I lie prostate

I lie on a railway bench
When I speak
Someone places a thesaurus on my mouth
The words dry up


I am silent 
I see nothing
I feel nothing
Except the taste

Of morning dew
On my lip

That's when 
I realise
I am chained to the bed
My wrists bandaged

The nurse-maid bathes me with sponge
She opens one window
Its the fragrance
Of frangipani
It emanates

From five and a half petals
My dose at dawn

Yes, I know what it is
It is
The aroma
Of Naga Champa
Once banned
In these parts

I smile
A honest smile
A rarity
In times
Such as these

That night
The Princess of Peekaboo
She plays Bach
That's her way of soothing strangers in her box
I watch her fingers

She has a face on either side of her head
She cackles
It's because I utter two truths
At one go

Two sets of words
From either side of my mouth

Then she clasps my fist 
She bathes me in a whirlpool
A fig is our soap
I pour rain on me
Wrapped in a deer skin
I see her strum a harpsichord
Which instead of playing a symphony in G minor
She produces a rainbow
In 13 colours

I place my hand on her head 
I ask her what is this
She guffaws
Like a Yakshgana dancer
Every time her heart broke
She threw her head away
It always rolled back
Damaged and dented
And glued itself on to her neck
She reassures me
My tectonic plates are intact

On cue
The plot thickens

Who Fear Nothing
Know about me
They want to capture me
Cut my happiness into tiny pieces
With their magnetised knives
In their orderly kitchen
Have me for vegetable broth
A chimera tells me this

My crime 
I am trying to live, in a heroic-happy sort of way

Who Fear Nothing
Have read my dissertation on how
Life can be beautiful
That the people can be happy (in a way)
Instead of switching on the gas
And striking a match

Who Fear Nothing
Say this is not good
I have to be extinguished
My carapaces and elytra torn off

Along with my propensity
To smile

Felt most
On a sad Sunday


The Princess of Peekaboo 
Will have none of it
She extracts a secretion from my grin
Offers it to the frangipani
With a bit of mumbo jumbo

The fragrance of frangipani, lingers 
In the box, the city, the nation
It percolates the dreams of flora and fauna
It floats up

It kisses the sky

As a result 
Even the ghost of the Nag Champa
She stirs
In her grave
And bellows a Ha Ha Ha Ha
Followed by a Hee

The Princess of Peekaboo
Grows her mane like frangipani
Her arms replicate the stems
Her tiny eyes resemble the petals
When she kisses a frangipani flower
It says, your kiss is better than me
That's how it is
A smile-revolution

This aroma
This persistent aroma spreads
The air is frangipani
The atoms are frangipani
The emptiness is frangipani

It irks them 
Who Fear Nothing
Who want to win the war of woe

Will they?

Or will the victor be the aroma of frangipani?

Or will it be 
Who Fear Nothing
Who want to seize all smiles
Bury the laughs
Burn the root of it all

All of this through a writ petition
Yes, that's what it is
It's a well known Habeas Corpus
A case study for the next gen
When the fundamental right of smiling and laughing
Stood abrogated



It's the future
I see it (sometimes, when I focus my eyes)
Me on my death-bed
I gaze above
Into the sun rays

The Princess Of Peekaboo
She swims in the air
Her white hair swirls like a Kathaking dancer
She kisses an asteroid

That's passing by

I send her 
A morse code
She looks down
From that great height
She sms-es me, and says,
I am gay and glorious
And also so lonely

Just then a whiff of frangipani, appears 
The sms never reaches me
None of them, do
The Princess of Peekaboo
Plays a drum beat
One single hand in multi taal
To scare the suicide disease away

A garuda appears
She climbs it
Drum in her hand
She flies away
Once and for all

I sit there 
Look above
An abstract of bleak black and grays
A solitary streak of a bird


Eons later
A frangipani falls
From the sky
On the top of my head

It's a gift
From the Princess of Peekaboo
The five and half petals tickle me
And again

Five and half times

Now I must find some way
To stop dangling 
From the beam
In this shed
I request someone
To unknot this rope
Around my neck

I say to myself
With a smile