Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Mid-argument I stall,
Suddenly weary
Do I care to pierce that hide?
Your pigeon like,globular tone
Of being amply justified.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Freezing point is 0K.

Like hell it isn't.

On Success and The Pliable Man

I came.

I saw...

I concurred.*Shrug of shoulders*

Friday, December 4, 2009


How many rants have been
washed down the kitchen sink,
And how impervious the clothes
Are to my rage.
I thought.
Why not.

So,to tell
I sat you on my lap.
(Like when I spoon Cerelac
Into your mouth?)
And if nothing
It was heartening
When you knit your little brows together
(Pausing to think?)
Before you said-

P.S-Im getting worried.Noone is getting what I write any longer.If this makes sense,do tell.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Scratch The Surface

So sophisticated,
For I hold my luggage
Fingers lightly hooked.

A little anxious-
Should you pull?
I will clasp.
Should you tug?
Then I'll clench.
And see those fists of steel.\

p.s-Acha,for clarification the should you is to be read as in case you.Otherwise it makes not a darned bit of sense.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Growing Up

When you you look back at your been there,done that life and wonder-what the fuck for?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Could Not Be A Song

A pellet poem
I could not be a song.

Like a snap-shut valise
I should not be a song.

Don't care to be a song.

Do I dare to be a song.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Because We Are Not Trolls

Because we are not trolls
We make life difficult
For ourselves and others.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Light filters in through
A filigreed arch
Rose petals curl,shrink and die and
Reflection smears move
On floor like glass.
There are ants crawling down
Rough hewn bark
Inkdrops stain the parchment dark and
Wine bubbles rise to the brim.


Monday, October 12, 2009

The Return

When I got off my flight I had to keep my toes clenched.Held down.Because rationally thinking running back home would in fact take more time.But rationally thinking when have I last thought rationally?

At any rate went through with the waiting for luggage and dumping into trolley deal.Once done,broke into a run.Happy even to see the Grandfather,grinned beatifically at him(a man I’m glad to see you smile )All balls but it was just reflective of a general inner feeling.Could keep up a happy prattle the entire length of the journey .

Then .The gate.Brand new but home-ish.Mummy-ish,baba-ish.

Safety be damned,luggage be damned-er I leap out mid drive and soar up on a lift.Then following the hum of conversation into the house I see I’m in.No one else does though.The purohit continues with his pujo and the people sit around munching on proshad and the like.

The lack of acknowledgement was one thing but what followed was one up on that.


Eesh!Ki kalo!

Ki mota!

Chaan koroni?

You need a haircut

But the thing about home is through all this I’m expected to discern that they’re glad to have me back.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Song Mechanism

The first time
It left deep tire marks;
In its way.
And the light that shone through
The now clear places,
Was good.
And the wind when it hit
This new bareness,
Was good.

Then why stop?
Once more and once more
New grooves were etched.
Some running roughshod over the old,
Some compliant .

But now stop.
For the grounds is acquiring
That well known hardened shine.
For it rolls over
Now vastly blunted nerves.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some Poetry

Some poetry
Flows from fingertips.
And some from knuckle

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Gift From Me

I should like,

To sneak into your room
Unnoticed,and place it on the table.
Leave it lying carelessly
In tune with the rushed clutter.
Then suddenly one morning
Detect it in your hands
With the look of a thing
Of which
A natural posession has been assumed.

I should like.

Very much.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A For...?

Scene I
A teacher is sitting on an armchair and correcting papers.
Gets up, utters an expletive and angrily thumps the entire set on an adjacent table.

Man: Why Mary?
(louder)Why MARY for crying out loud!?
Thirteen compositions written by brown children of the subcontinent and…
Every single one of them abounds in Johns and Peters and Marys
Of course there is the adventurous one who has included a Tara.
And look at this one (picks up an answer script).Her own name is Subalakshmi but the cat she writes about is called Emily.
Why this fixation with anglicized names?
Or, for that matter, anglicized anything?...

Woman:I don’t see why you’re getting angry. It’s quite natural in fact. Think about it -most of the names they’ve seen in print have been western ones. So naturally when they have to write they draw on their literary vocabulary. Hardly fair to blame the children. I’m sure you’ve done the same yourself as a child…

Man:*snort* You seem to be taking for granted that most children nowadays read. Wishful thinking…
No. It’s the system.

Woman: What system?

Man: Social …education... all of it.
Education actually…
*sits hunched on his chair frowning about something*

Woman: You academics can’t let up an opportunity to blame the system. The root

Man:*cuts her short*You just said it. The root. Of course! The root. That’s where the trouble lies…

Woman: Maybe I’m just stupid but I don’t know what on earth you’re on about…

Scene II –
Kindergarten school. A Montessori teacher is introducing the alphabet to some children.
The teacher walks in.

M T- Sir, you? All of a sudden?
Oh. Is one of them related to you?
Children, where are your manners. Stand up and wish sir!

[Children stand up in chorus and wish.]

Man: Good morning, good morning.

M T-Yes sir, so you were saying that one of them is related to you..

Man-I was saying nothing of the sort. Never seen any of them before.

MT-*a little confused* Er… Then…What…

Man-Will it be a problem if I just sit around and watch for sometime?

MT- No, no sir. Of course not! You are most welcome... anytime *still a little confused*
But may I ask why…if you don’t mind sir…

Man-You could I suppose but I’m not sure I know the answer myself.

MT- Oh…*even more confused now*

Man-You carry on, carry on. I’ll just sit at the back and watch.

[MT walks hesitantly to the board, picks up a chalk and traces an A on the board.]

MT- A, children, makes the aah sound.
A is for? *Traces an apple on the board*


[A crashing sort of music which sounds in the mans head.]

MT- B. This makes a buh sound. So B is for? *Traces a bat this time*


[Same music again]
[Teaching continues in mime]

[Suddenly the man stands up, almost involuntarily. Very agitated.]

MT-*Stops, a little scared*.Is anything the matter?

Man- Plenty. But never mind that.
Can I ask a favour of you?

MT- Of course.

Man-Will it be a problem if I take one class tomorrow?

MT- You? Teach them?
Surely you’re joking…

Man- No. I’m dead serious. Could you tell them that tomorrow there will be no formal class. So no books and none of those slates required. We’ll just…. play a game.

MT-A game?*looks at man as though he is completely insane*


MT-*effects this chirpy voice*.Right children tomorrow there is no class.

[Cheer goes around the classroom]

MT-But ..but ..that doesn’t mean you don’t come to school.

[A groan in chorus.]

MT-*continues oblivious to the reaction*.
Sir here wants to play a game with you.

[A sound in chorus which is equivalent to a- huh?]

Yes. So that’s all for today. You can go home now. But be here tomorrow or you’ll miss out on a lot of fun…

[Children troop out as does the man. The MT is alone on stage packing his things and muttering.]

MT- Nuts these chaps are. Absolute nuts. Like I don’t have enough on my plate as it is without him coming around wanting to play games. Anyway let him try and handle these children for one day and he’ll never want to see them again in his life…

Scene III-
Man walks in with with a football.

Man-Good morning class.

Chorus-good morning

One child-Sir we’ll play football today?

Man- Not exactly. Wait a bit, I’ll come to that.

Alright. I’m Mr _____.And the game that I’m going to play with you ..is actually not as much fun as football.*grins*
This game (like all games teachers promise) is basically to trick you into studying.*Grins again*

[Class laughs.]

Right so this is how it goes.You’ve been taught I’m sure several times what sound each alphabet makes.Now all of you will have to form a circle and I’ll sit somewhere near the centre.Now when I mention an alphabet I’ll suddenly throw the football at one of you.And that person will have to catch it and at the same time tell us the first word that comes to his mind beginning with that letter.Do you get it?

[Children nod a little uncertainly.]

Okay so lets begin.

[They form a circle like he said .

And he hold the football in his hand looks this way that way and suddenly shouts A and hurls it at a surprised kid. The kid manages to catch it but shouts out- achaar!

Everyone bursts out laughing.]

Man-*Grinning widely*Why are you laughing?Thats excellent.*gives the kid an approving pat on the head.*
That’s exactly what I want you to do.Forget the associations that you’ve been taught for now.Just say the things that you’re comfortable with.The stuff you’ve grown up with.Saying..seeing.They’re just as good as any apple or bat.So-
B!*And hurls it another kid who involuntarily yells-banyan!

[Roar of laughter from the class.]

Brilliant brilliant.
Okay next person ..I’ll skip some alphabets so don’t think up your answers from before.
So E!
[And the kid who catches it says- Yuck!]
That’s actually with Y.But good.Good anyway..

[Music begins and and this game is played in mime.]

[Pages of a calendar are turned.Have to somehow symbolically show that he tries similar methods with children of all ages in the school]


Scene IV-The room of the first scene. Man and woman again.

Man-They can be untaught.They can be untaught. I knew it!

Woman-Oh so your plan is a brilliant success?Now all the children wear their indianness on their sleeves..

Man-Yes.Almost all.There were of course some who couldn’t overcome all their original teaching..But I’ll work on them.

Woman-Should you?I mean work on all them.I really wonder…

Man-What do you mean?Anyway…Those children need to learn who they are.Be proud of their true identity…Not acquire a borrowed one.

Woman-If a child doesn’t typify his country does it necessarily mean that his identity is borrowed?

Man-You always see problems when there aren’t any.Now what the hell do you mean this time?

Woman-I’m not very sure yet. But something tells me…. you’re right..you’re right .But not entirely so…

Scene V-

A classroom. A boy is standing there with the football in his hand.
The professor looks annoyed.

Boy-But that IS what came to my mind spontaneously.

Man-But that is... that’s unnatural. Why should an Irish word come naturally to you?I’m assuming it’s the new thing in your peer group.
(Boy tries to say something but the man rushes on)
I’m not saying that theres anything wrong with the language,But should you…and reason this out yourself..give up all that you’ve got behind you for this..

Boy-You mean my father..and Sanskrit..and everything..

Man-Yes!!Do you even know ..
Of course not.You children never realize the worth of what you’ve got.
Students from abroad spend their entire lives here to learn the language ..hang around just to be tutored by him.
And *sighs* then there’s you.

Boy-I don’t like my father.

Man-*exasperated*How is that even relevant?!

Boy-It isn’t?Maybe not.
My nanny was Irish…one of my fathers *a little bitterly* students actually.When I think of my childhood its mostly her I remember..*smiles reminiscently*
My peer group has nothing to do with this.

Man-Alright.I concede.But I still think that you shouldn’t make it the language of your mind because at the end of the day..well..it doesn’t belong to you.


(Uncomfortable pause)

Man-*flustered*Wha..What do you mean why?
*changes tone*Listen.You do realize that its important to think about who you are..and for that you NEED to know where you come from..Believe me.

Boy- I am thinking about it…

*looks a little pensive* See… I .. know what I like.. I like butterscotch icecream and samosas… and I’m thinking about what I want to do… Physics or maths as my major…
as in... which I’m better suited for..

Man-*again impatient*Yes, yes. But what has that to do with what we’re saying? We were talking about roots.

Boy-Why? Is it really more important than…
If I figure out which it is –physics or mathematics-I think I’ll be a little more sure of who I am.
*thinks for some more time*
Says yeah to himself.

[The man is silent this time. Says a loud But!yet doesn’t continue…
Goes and flops on a chair.
Then suddenly gets up and announces- I’m going home.]

Scene VI

The original room. Woman is there again.
Man walks in frowning, looking very confused.

Woman-Is anything wrong?

Man-*shrugs*I don’t know ..I don’t know..

Woman-Would you like to talk about it or would you rather just have dinner straightaway?

Man-I need to think…this thing over. I don’t even feel like sitting down to dinner with the family now... Can you just rustle up a pasta or something and give it in my room?

Woman- Pasta?

Man-*uncomprehendingly*Yeah. That should do. It’ll save you trouble too, won’t it? And why are you smiling?

Woman-*continues to smile*No, nothing. I’ll bring it for you.
Then goes out of the room.

[Man stands on stage watching her leave.]

End play.

P.S.Shalmi since you wanted to see.

P.P.S-Credit (discredit?) ought to be shared with Jit who apparently wasn't just pretending to think.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Breakup Story

I am leaving you house,forever, and its okay if you don't miss me.Even if you unconcernedly make new memories with strange people its fine by me.For it is but natural that others should love you as well.

I just hope they notice how your walls and ceiling have the power to let be.How they don't crowd thoughts in so they are left jostling for space.How they don't shame you into inaction with their hauteur .I wonder if it left any mark on you when my mind grew along your walls.

Wouldn’t it be a pity if no one again realized that the corner of the verandah where the crows mass at dusk is a perfect hideaway. That cushions fit in there with a peculiar snugness and the ledge ends at shoulder height exactly.So you can sit and look out.The ghost of an eight year old me with mango juice dripping off my chin onto the pages of Famous Five will haunt this place always.Or maybe one a decade older in striped nightshirt and tousled hair.

I hope they appreciate your endearing gawkiness.The look of having grown too tall too fast.Awkward and yellow, looking around unsurely at the surrounding not-so-high-rises.I promise a mental hug everytime I pass by on the flyover.

They will of course never know about the blue sofa under the charcoal sketch.For both will be gone.The latter to a warehouse subjected to some exchange offer.Goodbye to you too.Perhaps you don’t know it but you held me through fears and fevers silently whispering-Don’t be stupid child, it doesn’t happen that way.

Forgive me for I never learnt the what the switches on the board corresponded to.Utterly illogicall they were.Little bit of mystery in an otherwise completely unmysterious house they were.Please do be the same.

I’m leaving.Off to house with plasma TV and Mercedes in the driveway.And you un-posh house didn’t even have a driveway.And I,silly creature, didn’t even care.

There is a reason why I’ve never told you the above .You would feel perfectly uncomfortable with such extreme oversentimentality,look sheepish and not know what to say.So I shall tear this up and part on the usual terms.

*A stiff hug*
Bhalo theko.

Monday, May 25, 2009


The night before the ISC history exam I got a panic attack.

Jayatri continued looking over chemistry formulae knowing I'd elaborate soon.
"Listen man.This scope says Nassers role in NAM is to be studied in detail
"Okay Joey.So study it in detail."
"Its two o clock at night!But thats not the problem...Khan had asked me to photocopy her notes on it and distribute it in class.There was a bandh or something so I thought I'd mail it to people later.."
"And you forgot?"
*Guilty look* "Ki kori ebar?I mean if a question on that is in tomorrows paper I will be crucified."
"Do something.Go to school early tomorrow and tell people whats in the note.They can then attempt the ojectives or whatever."
"I can't do that.I dont know anything about the NAM except what the acromym stands for.I left out the entire segment re."
"Wonderful.Then you will just get screwed tomorrow."
*Feverish nail biting* "I know..royally."
Then I performed my usual stress routine.Walked around the room jerkily.Took large gulps from the coke bottle.Desperately crunched on soya sticks then went to the loo.
After that there was simply nothing left to be done.All the while oblivious to the fact that someone else was trying to study in the same room.I mean I had a problem with a capital p, did no one in the whole wide world care??
Yes thats how selfish I can be.
She shut her book and looked up.
"Joey stop freaking out!You'll do have choice in the paper,don't you?"
"Besides it not your fault.."
Weak protest from me.
"She just shouldn't have given it to an irresponsible dumbfuck like you."

I'd always believed that friends were for JUST this.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Load shedding.And something in me would be smiling inspite of the complaints.I'd sneak into a corner,lean thin shoulders against a rough wall and savour the silence-time.The mind would pick up a stray thread of reality and build around it.Any number of pleasant falsities.And nobody would interrupt with a jarring-Dinner khabena?It does not matter that the object in question was an idiot.I didnt know that then and rather liked my softly trembling reveries.
Of course it was sheer inexcusable nyakami.So when I look back I am filled with contempt and perhaps also ...a little envy.For Load sheddings aren't the same anymore.
I once tried to simulate the environment.Placed myself next to a window and played some suitable music.Then waited paitently for it to happen.Nothing happened.The moon looked down at me insipid,cynical.Feeling an utter fool I tore the earphones off and flung the blasted thing away.
Idiot me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Buddy is a handsome dog.His back arched like a bow ,head proudly set,listening.I thought he led a charming life.Rushing after sparrows,reclining on sofas .But primarily I envied him for he has not been socialized.No stupid inhibiting ideas drilled into his noble head.
So trots up and tucks his head into your lap-I want love.
And positively bawls when he’s excluded from some activity or locked out.
Drools when you eat around him –You’re not going to eat all of that yourself ?...
When a guest arrives he goes straight for the crotch.-Wuff Wuff.Nice legs…
And it need not be advertised further that he pleasures himself ,most unashamedly, in public.
So here I was thinking he is the ultimate flower power ,free love, free-spirit.

Then it happened.

A wire was strung across the door and he on the other side.I’d originally locked the door to keep him out but he butted his head against it repeatedly till the glass nearly shattered.So I opened it ,expecting him to come bounding in.But no.Tottering on uncertainty he lifted a paw but retracted hurriedly.Whined some then began barking loudly ,insanely.Like the wire like a sparrow would take fright and fly away.
To be honest at this point I was head scratching confused.Intrigued.For gods sake I had seen the damned dog leaping over a couch then why this wire?
But then he started sniffing it.The entire length-What are you strange thing?
I might have imagined it but I thought I saw him arching back ,preparing to soar past the hurdle but at the last moment he sank back .Then went and sat in a dark corner ,whimpering.
Jayatri arrived then with the bhelpuri and walked in over the wire,without a thought.
“Did you study?Where’s the dog?”
Who now came bounding in ,having watched her cross it once,flooded with relief.

Poor devil.He’s not all that different from the rest of us.

Friday, April 24, 2009

And Always

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
So I climbed a yellow tree
And ate an apple.

My head,nestled,peacefully
On the warm leaves
I looked up, relieved
But two roads diverged in the blue sky…

Monday, April 13, 2009

Foreign Territory

Almost voyeuristic
The way I parted the chintz curtains
And crept into your hearth
To watch you play Snap!
What is Snap?

Something that fair haired children play
Who pat each other on back
And say 'That was very plucky chum.'
Who eat beef cuts and tongue.
What is tongue?

Is it that tongue.
Of Disney love and bubblegum?
How big is Disneyland?

Funny that I should know
Their rivers
And who designed their flag.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I've become a walking-addict.

And everyday for hours I go nowhere and back.Buy myself a coke on the way.Chilled coke which you can feel going down your throat in the heat.Sweltering heat may I mention.And I don't even notice much on the way.Its really quite mad.
It happens like this.With a faint buzzing in my head and i wear my shoes and start out.Then the energy of the buzzing in my head.So loud I can almost hear it.Then the energy of my pace.Pulsating heels which begin to hurt.But never mind.
At the end of an hour or two it begins to settle down,a calmer version of the brownian motion sort of thing in my mind.Then I get back.
Am I unhappy?
I remember forrest gump did this when he was deeply unhappy and didn't even know it.
Am I too happy?
Otherwise its hard to explain the strange lightheadedness I feel.
Am I in love with the people on the street?
That's it I think.They who allow a strange creature to race along mid afternoon unquestioningly.No,I get none of the usual attention accorded to women out alone.
Everyone probably thinks I'm a boy.Who cares?
Being a nonentity gives you the greatest freedom.
I enjoy my freedom.

Monday, February 23, 2009

In Defence Of

The show is over and the children have dispersed.Into little frocked clusters sitting dangly legged on plastic chairs.He appalled by yet another piece of the Barbie cake ,resolutely gulps it down.Its come to this now.
He slides the the purple robe off , puts the rabbit back into the hat and trudges home.


The desks are polished planks of roughly hewn wood,the text books pages are bleached to blueness.The small windows have curtains.Its that kind of school.

“Bank clerk.,sir”

“Shop ..er..businessman sir, stationery shop.”


“….pata nahi sir..”


“I don’t know,sir”

“You do not know what work,your father,he is doing?!”


He painfully wrote out his name in cursive and shot a glance at his mother.He wasn’t supposed to talk during home-work time but.. “Mummy…

Where is papa?”

“Working .You study.”

“What work?”

She twisted the corner of her mouth in contempt. “Why don’t you ask him what work a grown man like him is doing.”


A long draught of cool water from a metal tumbler .Comfortable now in his vest and dhoti.
His son came and stood next to him ,holding the wide arm of the chair for confidence.

You’re tired?

“A little..*weak grin*..long day”

“What did you do?...No my teacher was asking ..I didn’t know..”

He looked at his son and it all came in a rush ,drowning the rest out.So he whispered ,softly,enchantingly-magic.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Expertly arbitrating
And unthinkingly participating
In the cutting and drying process
Buoyed by what they've said
And heard said (Mama Knows Best)
Do they sometimes stop

To ask-But how should I?
Do their hands,suddenly uncertain
Drop by their side
When it stikes
-Why I still catch head-colds
And couldnt tie my laces
Till I was seven...