Tuesday, January 22, 2013

At the end of the day

At the end of the day
I've seen one more sunset

At the end of the day
I wonder how many sunsets the sun has seen

At the end of the day
My skull, it aches, ineluctably

At the end of the day
My shoes have grown one day older

At the end of the day
I've sipped six litres of water instead of five

At the end of the day
I've spent one more minute in the cloakroom today

At the end of the day
I've to call the plumber since everything leaks

At the end of the day
I've learnt one new word that I won't recall tomorrow

At the end of the day
My newspaper informs me the Arab Spring is facing eastwards

At the end of the day
I realise a building obstructs my view to the east

At the end of the day
I want to have breakfast instead of dinner

At the end of the day
I can't

At the end of the day
Everything is determined by a rule book

At the end of the day
It is always someone else who has authored the rule book

At the end of a day

I'm always a bit poorer

At the end of the day
All of us are together, finally, as we try to fall asleep

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My daughter has grown up

My 19 year old said
I reject them
I discard them
Why? I asked

Its faded, sort of drab

Gone out of fashion
I've outgrown them
Adorned them for too long

You speak of your clothes, I ask

No ma, these are my ideas that are out of shape
Can you please find someone
Who will accept my left overs

Friday, January 18, 2013

The taste of freedom

The taste of freedom
He had forgotten

Until he saw a cafe
Crossroads, was its name
Where you had to petition
Your lunch order

Regular or medium?
Serve me a bloody thaali of the whole thing, he said
Plus a topping
Some side dish too

We've spoken to the authorities
They say, as a special case, you can have a tiny portion
Nothing is free, you see
In this free land of our

Either you pay for the meal
Or you cook the damn thing
Experience has taught us that too much of a good thing
Give the wretched of the land, a tummy upset

Thursday, January 17, 2013

13 thoughts for the day

The most important man-made discovery according to me is: red tapism

Do trees shiver?
When they feel cold?
Do they also complain?

I suspect there is a man
Seated in some office, somewhere
Who invents one rule per minute
Which the rest of us follow

Jayant Mahapatra
Donated 4,000 books and magazines
A German typewriter, a camera, five cupboards
To the University in Balasore
Little did he know
That all of it would be secured under lock and key

My money plant has a coronary heart disease
When I asked the fern
How did it happen
She replied I dont know
I suffer from Alzheimer

This year, we solemnly swear to invest $1.3 trillion in Project Malthus so that we can officially register all the million instances of starvation in this country

I wonder what is the life expectancy of an idea, these days

How about a permanent RFID tag on the wrist that calculates the lewdness quotient among the male population

Thanks to all the meetings I attend
My bottoms have become tough
Nothing is a pain in the arse

The sarpanch was worried
Three rivers attempting suicide
Should I report the matter
To the local tehsildar

We plan to export a billion tear drops
Said the Minister
Of the newly formed
Department of Gloom and Doom

Its time to monetise our pessimism

Instead of an agarbatti
They lit a cigarette in front of the local god
Who inhaled all the smoke
Blessed their injurious healths

A thousand thoughts
Buzzing in my head
All worthless

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A meeting of two gods

He squashed a mosquito on his forehead
What a noble thing, to do
A nobler thing still, is to stand
Attentively when the ablutions
Are in full flow
Cramps in the feet

Through the haze and maze
He saw the other chap
Dancing and prancing
As he entered the sanctum sanctorum

He sat on his blue bottoms
He by his side
There were no more words
No prayers (thankfully)

Both trembled in the cold
Avatar eight greeted avatar seven
With a flute note
A bit of godly gossip

They assessed each other
Their soul full of questions
Their bodies made of cold stone
Reeking of yesterday's milk, champa flowers

The perfect man wanted to ask his blueness
About the Gopis in Vrindavana
About Radha (where is she, now?)
Instead sobriety prevailed
They confabulated
About divine statesmanship
Newer conquests

They sat next to each other
Sighing (and imagining)
Two different paradises
He fingered the peacock feather and said, 
I'm terrified by his perfection
I wish I was as valiant
That I fought my own battles

When the silence evaporated
They realised the night had passed by
He said goodbye, and asked him:
"What is your name?"

My name is Krishna," he said. "And yours?"
My name is Rama.”

Friday, January 11, 2013


I stare at the the bottom of the tumbler
The arrack stares right into my eye
Make one more peg, don't dilute me
No sir, I say, I already have a kick

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yamuna reprimands Gomti

Yamuna reprimands Gomti
Stop pretending to be me
I'm the river of romance
All you've done it
Retreat from the sea

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One morning in D

The wind
Enters my ears
Every morning
With a message
Of sorts

Six azaans
One after another
I think its time
God has a chat with the local trustee
To co-ordinate
Alarm clocks

Cross-legged, I sit
With the wind
In my lap
At a tea shop
Managed by a husband-wife
Who can't see

Patrons suckle milk
One goat per person
No cup, no saucer
No tea leaves
Nor pasteurizing
This is hand to mouth existence

I wait my turn
A murrah buffalo is readied
Which udder would I prefer
Left is right
Right is wrong
So what is weak?
Which is strong?

The wind brings news
People are thrilled
The Great Banyan has been awarded
A Padma Bhushan
First ever
For a hic-cupping tree
Perhaps the greatest
Of our times

She is 200 years old
With 3,000 plus aerial roots
And as many hic-cups
How will all 14,500 sq/metre of her
Board the passenger train to Delhi?

The wind says
Her hic-cup is a disease 
Caused by a cyclone
After the main trunk was amputated
In a fungus epidemic

Now the canopy stands
Happy and proud
Make a wish
Says the wind to the tree
She does so
In return
The wind lends her a shawl
To cover her chest

Its unbearable, this cold wave
Freezing point
It's claimed many trees
In these parts

Quite true, I say
It's summer
Masquerading as winter
The wind shudders
Due to a bit of flu

What about we
Say a chorus of leaves, creepers, broken twigs
Even in this, we face discrimination?
No comfort for us?
I trample their voices
Beneath my chappal
As I cross the field

The wind
Around the corner
The azaan is complete

One final gasp
For the full moon
As she fades
In the haze
Of the sun

The moon
She smiles
Her crinkle
Has become a wrinkle

So much to do
How to do
What to do
As and when I do whatsoever I do

I will pluck weed

Day after
Someone will pluck me

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two wild buttercups growing out of my toe

The earth is burning
I smell it
Through one unclogged nostril
The other defunct for days

Yesterday at this time
The soil was moist
Tears from the sky
Or quite simply, our planet sweating

Seven children, unclothed
Sit on the ground
Around a fire of eucalyptus leaves
Their great grand mother
Chops timber into tiny pieces
Little alphabets
For them to take to school
Which may re-open today

My word, today is prevaricate
I put it in my shirt pocket
A noun, verb, adjective
Or something more
I give up
One more word that I discard
Crushed under my feet

A colourful centipede emerges from a crevice
In the grassland
She leads me
To a river
I gargle my mouth
The water tastes boiled
The centipede informs me
It is because this river sings
An inappropriate raga
Madhuvanti is not for the mornings

The sun rises
I know
There is a bit of sun on my elbow
With an expiry date
Preserve me, it says

I try
To return home
My feet are wedged between the bekaatas bamboo
Or is it a manvel bamboo
Hopelessly lost
Give me some indication, a sign
A flowering
One fruit
Don't block my path

I stand there
All alone
I become a gargoyle
Made of granite
Dull grey, all 150 feet of me
That's my story
The one they tell about me

Except on the days
There is a thunderstorm
Strong winds
Lightening strikes
Instead of caving in
I walk towards the long forgotten road

Behind me
Others march
Teaks, mangos, coconuts and orchids in military beat
Also adad, dudhkod, khakhro, timru, haldu, chopadi, bondaro, shimlo, and ambla
We chant decidious slogans
Left right
Left right
I'm all ready to have a fight

Morning, once again
The rain, it ceases
I look over my shoulder
443 uprooted trees
In a lush forest

I've my revenge
But I am not home, yet
Never shall be

My feet tingle
Cramps due to all the exercise
I look
I see
Two wild buttercups
Growing out of my toe