Friday, July 29, 2011

Short tribute to Stendhal

Stendhal started to rummage
Through his 19th century memoirs
The dust made him sneeze

He wanted to read Goethe
To her
She wanted to dip Parle biscuits
In a cup of tea

In the East Khasi Hills
They record rainfall in metres
He said to himself
And wet his Italian sandals
In a dirty puddle

He picked up a new book to read
With eagerness
But was too tired to turn the pages

Brutalised in love
She kissed him
Hoping he wouldn't reciprocate

She walked into the showroom
Sought a perfume
That had the fragrance of the first rice cultivation

He walked into the showroom
Sought a perfume
That could prevent him from falling to the ground

When he saw her emerge
From The Madonna's Shrine
His syphilis made him dizzy

Some say: It was love at first sight

When she learnt
Stendhal had died of seizure
On the streets of Paris
She smiled her tragic smile
And recalled how he preferred dictating his final book to her
Instead of consummation

The happy few ...
Who are they ...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Proto Mogul of our times

Parked his steel grey Bentley
Bedroom lights were on
Perhaps she was reading
Or he had forgotten to switch off

He did speed dial
Asked for home delivery
Of instant karma
It will take seven minutes, the voice told him

Too slow
Too slow
By then, the speculators and share-holders
Would have fractally traded Rs 1,400 crore
On the stock exchange

At this rate
He calculated
The world would simply run out of algorithms
And stupid people to fleece

Monday, July 18, 2011

A tragic woman

I see a tragic woman
From inside my car

10,000 cars beside me
In a traffic jam

This woman
Tapping her scintillating umbrella
On the entirely granite
Hard English-made metal

Of a bridge (as ancient as her)
Having bi-lingual thoughts

Sliding across the bridge
She stumbles on a ripe pumpkin
Rolling down from the vegetable market

She unclenches her fist
To scatter polished grains for pigeons
All of whom disintegrate
Due to a bolt of lightening
Causing confusion
Among the locals

Time halts

Thoughts criss-cross

This is what I see
Noisy motor engines, cars annoyed
The woman rests her forehead
On a solar street-lamp
A waft of paalak and pudhina
Till the earth shudders
A little volcano erupts beneath her feet

She breathes, again

Time re-starts

She looks up
Sees me

I try to reciprocate

I can't

Her sadness has engulfed me

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It was that sort of day

I chewed and chewed at my purple-coloured toothbrush

I looked through the frosted stained pane

I counted each and every drop of rain
That drenched two sparrows on the window grill

It was that sort of day

Monday, July 11, 2011

In high tide or low tide

In the monsoon

The city dweller wrapped himself in a blue tarpaulin
Walking bare-foot
All the way to the Haji Ali Dargah

With every drop of rain
He rendered a qawwali
For Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari
Whose coffin
With his body
Floated all the way back
From Mecca
Till it rested on the rocks off the coast of Worli

For five hundred years,
The city dweller never entered the Central Shrine
But his qawwalli did
Reaching out to the tomb
Beneath the red and green chaddar

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why reading is injurious to your health

Why reading is injurious to your health

On 24 January 1556
Humayun wants to read, something, anything
He climbs the steps to his library
To procure a good read

While descending

With many big books
He hears the mullah's call for azaan
Duty calls

tries to do namaaz
In doing so, he slips

He dies

scrupulous and honourable God
Hears the news
He says: Beware
The word, especially when its written, is injurious to your health

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hello Mr Tolstoy

Hello Mr Tolstoy
You're genuinely too good
Why am I, still, so impressed by you?

What about you?
Have you read Dostoevsky
Impressed by him?

When you pray at a temple
Who appears?
Shakespeare? Dante? Or Mister God?

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I water words
I've meticulously planted
In mud pots

I fuss over these words
Fertilise them
Sing a melody
In the hope
They will blossom into a ballad or love song
That I can type out with my tongue
One day