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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My dear thimmamma marrimanu

The thimmamma marrimanu tree
She has stopped swaying
Whispers the neighbourhood breeze
Instead she ambles here and there
Epigraphically, and

I bathe on top of her tree top
She likes that
Since she gets watered at the same time
With her leaves
She scrubs my back
I wish I had banana leaves
Mine are too small

I silence her
I hug her branches
I chlorophyll you, she says
It's treescriptology for love
They did not teach me that in school
All I learnt is Vedic pathshalas, the Buddhist
sangha, the Jain sermons
I know some of it
As measured by my report card

I wish my school bench was
On top of the thimmamma marrimanu tree
Above the world
Where I play the flute
It makes her heart go aflutter
As she and I walk
Hand in hand
In the bol banao style of slow tempo

One night

We reach the banks of Vrindavan
I am warning you
If you play your tune
Then I wont let you get down
And go elsewhere
So will you please stop playing your tune of viraha now?
I don't

Do you realise, she says
It's Basant Panchami, today
She takes a holy dip in the Ganges
Humming a thumri
I never see her again

But at times
When all is quiet in the delta region
You will hear a supersonic boom
That's my dear thimmamma marrimanu
Warning us that the Ganges is shifting east
With a twang of her heart