Sunday, December 20, 2009

In my eyes

Butter knives carve out sharp mice
to go with the shy cutlery.
Virgin spoons clang themselves
in ceremonial cushionings.

A walk to remember
reveals the time-bound sentence
that will get eased
by heavy steam engines that grew up
to be used in songs of
distilled truth.

You can do no wrong
to savour the safety of a hidden voice
within layers of musicated poison.
It can't lead you wrong.
The path mostly leads to the pulpit.

A strained marriage
eventually birthed a vindicated fate
that would be tired of shouting its wisdom hoarse
if only I could hear.

Ears sighted the waves approaching
and signalled for the eye to receive them.
The nose lay out the red carpet
and the gust of wind was skinned alive.

More hairs stood on end
as the barbershop quartet brought their weapon closer.
The follicles did not know what hit them.
The hairs appreciated the independence from their colonial roots.

Monday, December 7, 2009

fingering the winds

Each step it took seemed like fortification for the soul. Its feet thudded lightly over the pavement tiles. The tiles were numbered and colour-coded in such a way that they injected strength into whoever walked on them. Some light reading about morality later, it resumed on its way.

It was concocting words in its head. And they made sense. They were words that would guide its sense of goodness whenever an iceberg came along. Icebergs cannot help themselves. It was the job of the literate ones to draw up formulae to divert the ship into safer waters.

It pondered on hurt and its surreality. Hurt could be chosen or left alone. Hurt was as real as an egg omlette. But humans had the gift of distracting themselves from hurt with a timely twirl of their magical fingers. Tap into that source mein freund, remind the winds.

negatory mister

a dog on the streets
ventured out into the calming shadow
of the pallid streetlamp,
and then thought better of its courage.

grooves dug themselves out into the wood
and water flowed through them
like pearly smoke
blown by wasted turbines.

knowledgeable kids waved to their friends.
they saw mirrors walking on streets all day,
and met them like the fleeting stay
of a bullet on a pebble.

the riddle walked untainted
as mundane cars whizzed past.
it thought of itself then,
and then of them.

upturned books wait for their perusing masters,
so that they may lure them
into their articulate mystery,
devour their ignorance
and then rob them of their brains.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

how to become a monk

Recent times have seen a mushrooming of saints and preachers. They are promoted by well meaning spiritualists in Aastha and Sanskar channels, which offer people who are too airy to stick their seat in the job market an outlet for their head-in-the-cloud nature. If you are interested in dipping your own beak in the booming trade, but are foxed as to where to begin, here is a to-do list to get yourself started:

* Contact your local barber for a presentable passport size photo for monk-hood. Baldness is preferred, although your Asian barber would recommend a semi-bald ponytail-cut.

* Purchase a decent hooded robe for the photo.

* You would have to apply for a mock Monk License.

* Then if all your papers i.e. criminal record, sexual orientation proof certificate, barber's criminal record, PDN (Parents' Dissent Note) are in order, you are granted a temporary license.

* Subsequent to the minimum of one year in spiritual exile, you shall be granted the complete license. They require unbeareable body stench due to lack of sanitation; at least 6 inches of facial beard and malnourished, skinniness of body as proof of said exile.

Or of course, if you find that the whole proceedure is fraught with bureaucratic complications and red tapism, you could just marry a Mr. Monk.

Friday, November 13, 2009

sounds that matter

Sounds can tend to be obscure and unobserved given their mundane ness. We hear so many sounds in a day that we do not pay attention to anything less prominent and piercing than a plane crash, if we are particularly obtuse; while the average person tends to gloss over as loud a racket as car tyres screeching. What is new in a speeding motorist nowadays, asks the brain of this person. Let us focus on more life-threatening sounds like the wheezy rasp of fast-approaching global warming, or the dying gasp of social ethics.

The soft rustling of a tree branch as a gust of wind rubs against it; the contented whirr of a well oiled ceiling fan; the consistent, unobtrusive clicks and punches of a computer lab; the drone that ensues in a room where an audience awaits the start of their show; the distant, sweeping din of ocean waves crashing against each other simultaneously – are all too poetic for the common man to notice unless paid to do so. Now have an innocent person stretch and yawn in his creaky chair and the silence of the auditorium is broken by it and the ensuing turning of heads and murmurs.

People hear things that they want to pay attention to. In the awkward, eerily silent auditorium, the creaking of the chair provides an entertaining distraction and so people fall prey to its pull. While the screeching car might indicate a motorist about to perish, one continues to give their ipod their undivided attention ad nauseum. Sounds that matter get heard. Others might as well be falling trees in an uninhabited forest.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bottle of Mercy

They sat gazing at each other's sea-engulfed horizon, not knowing which turn to take next. Wrong turns always led you on blue-eyed wheels. You never knew where they might deposit you.

Her handle on love was shaky at best, she reported. And he needed a filling up. So the drink was poured in.

A stray numismatist came up for the umpteenth time and demanded remuneration for his misfortune. The boy's pockets were devoid of change, much like his fate. He expressed regret by getting up, agitated. He wished to move on.

She walked. And he too walked. They realized they were getting further away from the red nosed reindeer. So they retraced steps. They sat on a nearby toadstool. And they talked of recurring bonds. He blanked out several times due to the toll the talk was taking on his forgotten mind. Chipping in with astute consolations from time to time, he kept his seat filled.

The chamber had been filling up with gases all the while. The novocain numbed his synapses these days. It was a good thing but sometimes, viruses gained free entry, availing of the paid leave granted to the security guards. He didn't realize the gaseous build up, but he sensed it through a feeling of depletion. She caught on.

Meanwhile, a bottle rose to fame. All eyes were on it whenever the shortest gust of gaseous wind blew in. And gases were heavily prone to being blown. They were not solids after all. Best to keep a bottle handy at all times.

Monday, October 5, 2009

There there

Frenetic pillowcases ranted as they went at each other. Fire cascaded down the earlobe. The croon mixed with the power-mongering rust of blazing cannons. The cannons fired bursts of nostalgic crystal orbs that told immense fortunes. The angry giant lent his two cents to the screech as if to second the scrawny midget's claims to misfortune.

And they all swayed to the saline sepia of forest odours. They were perfectly happy to do so, even though the leaves spoke of dire doom. After all it was meant to soothe and comfort the tortured veins which endured persistent impregnation of some sort all the time. Green tongues spat their nectar out on to the streets where they might be lapped up by all those who deserved it. Brilliant lights shone their pain out on projection screens as if to call for diagnosis.

Hordes of dancing pixies showed off their gyrating hips as they thundered up great clouds of ecstatic pixie dust from underfoot. They were not obligated to keep in time with earthly rhythms but they were nice enough to do so.

Time fashioned itself into a droning fabric that was intelligible in the form of a coarse sheet of notated venom.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Novocain of goodness

The redness of the phone caught its fancy. It wished upon the star that had given it birth and asked for guiding eyes, if it was within reason. The star gazed upon it and endowed it with a goodness that was unshakeable. It faltered at times of loosened knots and free periods. But those periods always led to excessive trauma and brought it back on course. How well concocted.

The drink it poured into the glass had a mystic swirl to it. It was going to be drunk and be made merry with. Slaves to happiness cannot begrudge their masters. It is so cool...

It made itself detached from probing poison needles through its solitude. Some random flugfelsarin saw that and wanted more to do with it in her life. Yet another found her fancies turn butterflies in her tummy. AH how it wove its webs without even knowing what webs were made of. But it knew it wouldn't last. After all, it happened to be a careening eraser that rubbed itself out of the slightest signs of normated normalcy.

It danced now as cares were melted away by the song's novocain.

the Ghatotkacha connundrum

Spiralling buns conjoined at the perimeter washed up to the shore in a melancholic way. They could not seem to care less about the thrashing cushions that they had left behind. That was their way of managing the staggering confusion in their Math books.

One day, the speaker had dreamt that he had to solve the dreariest of equations, by force. He was not allowed to forfeit, nor did he possess the means to ever solve it. But that did not fade it away. So he sat in an artificial daze to absolve himself of his charge. It was the best he could do, given his crooked limbs. The curtains then sidled up to his legs and reminded him of the soft agony of pending business. And he was apprehended as the spiralling bun he was destined to be ever so often.

Heroes came to him and reminded him of resolve and determination and other contemporary myths. They met his gaze and beamed their wisdom into his retina, and his will was left at their mercy. He would have croaked if they hadn't given him a sonorous tripper of a voice. And voice was the only reflection of himself that he had access to, and so he believed them.

A clone hag appeared at the doorway, and blithely went about her malfeasances. After a while of simmering in her mantras, he found a temporary way of meeting gazes and putting up arms. He might forget it soon, given fate's ways. The structure of evil eyes possibly melted then. Or maybe he did indeed best the challenge. But how often did that happen? Only ever as a delusion apprehended afterwards. Reality checks paid their bills duly.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tykes and Bikes

Most people have had a tally of one "near-death experience" in their lifetime- if they are blessed by the divine and can differentiate between actual death and the experience of waiting in traffic during rush-hour on the roads of Chennai. I can say with a sense of pride that I have been personally privy to two NDEs- and on the same day; within a span of forty to fifty seconds at best.

It was a tranquil, moonlit night that drenched the streets of Vastrapur, Ahmedabad. Just the kind of night you expect your father to take his five year-old on a scooter ride to the local "paan shop". My father was quite conventional in that sense. We parked the scooter in front of the hooded stall that housed the owner, his betel leaves and the several condiments designed to make the best of mouths salivate in crimson ecstasy. As my father placed the order, I parked myself on the seat, legs barely reaching the basket compartment in the scooter's front and sat reflecting on whatever it is five year-olds seated on scooter seats do while waiting for paan, when I perceived a white fluffiness emerge from my left, flanked by a dog-walker in shorts. A mesh of conditioning and hereditary traits has made it hard for me to be sure if a morbid fear of dogs existed in me then or whether it was a product of the experience about to follow. To be honest, it was mostly an unverifiable blur, but here is a speculative version of it:-

The fluffy canine slobbered meekly on its leash for a couple of seconds by my side, and unable to handle that sort of pressure, I jumped off the scooter and took off. I don't suppose that for the first three to four seconds of my imperiled sprint, the dog caught on. But when I looked over my shoulder after about six seconds, the dog was hot on my trail. I gave a squeak of a rabbit in the wild whose mortality has been challenged and renewed the fuel in my legs. My tiny legs motored away as they had never motored in their short lives. Swirling clouds of dust and sand took birth as my blazing feet left the ground with each bound.

In a short time, either alerted to the hunt by the bloodthirsty howls of my pursuer, or disturbed by the rift in the space-time continuum caused by my supersonic speed, other dogs clambered onto the party wagon. Since I could count at the time, I noted fleetingly that I was now running from a total of five yowling, hooting dogs of different assortments.

I ran in all possible formations I could think of to bamboozle my quarry. I zagged and zigged, vice versaed, ran in concentric circles, ellipses, hexagons, and possibly even a rudimentary version of the "Chakravyuha". But seemingly they were abreast with the Mahabharata as they matched my every dodge to keep the minimum distance of two metres from my sweating posterior at all times. As the thread of breath dwindled in my chest, I started seeing spots and other kaleidoscopic projections. I saw the pearly mistiness of heaven, and the scorching rouges of hell- NDE#1.

Then, in a final burst of energy, I launched myself off the ground- possibly in the hope of catching an updraft of the wind and soaring above the canine mass surrounding me. Fear, as it turned out, does not lend you wings, and after a brief stint as an amateur airborne gymnast, I fell to the ground and skidded along the rough, sand road. As I commended my young body to God, I saw a blinding orb of white light rush towards me. As I experienced NDE#2, a realization dawned that the white light of God should not have alloyed wheels, or a chassis suspension, or a two stroke engine, or front disk brakes. I swallowed more sand than I could spit out as the bike skidded to a screeching halt not more than two centimetres from my tiny, airless, grounded chest.

My dual Near-death Experience was caused by two of man's supposed best friends- dogs and a motorbike.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The English teacher

He possessed as balding a pate as one could have without plagiarizing Homer Simpson. Two sorry looking stoic weeds still clung on to dear life on the smooth planet surface. One look at the man's woebegone face betrayed how he treasured the loyal remnants of his weather-beaten top. Then he saw an infomercial on TV and bought himself a new lease on his dying follicular life in the form of a misshapen wig. He taught us English.

He claimed that even the sale of his entire literary prowess could not have bought him a head of natural hair after his undying stint at our high school. We, if he were to be believed, were dunces. And not just your average-joe, everyday Dummkopfs. We had scaled the highest mountains of stupidity, thrust our flags upon their snowy peaks, and still had the resources to uproot more records of incompetence. We explored the boundaries of English grammar and orthography to please him. We studied greater and greater works of English literature to earn ourselves a place in his good books. But he was never devoid of newer and newer innovative phrases to condemn our grasp of the English language. Several versions of his condemnations have been repressed in our memories for their sheer battery of any and all mental capabilities we might have possessed, but a vague residual recollection of them still lingers to haunt us nightly. Now all flora and fauna in the ecosystem are presumably allowed their opinions. But this man's intense critique was aimed at us. So as self-respecting students of the English language, we deemed it fair to "exact revenge".

Retribution of the scale which we had envisaged deserved an appropriate pedestal from which to unleash itself. A simplistic thumbtack on the seat routine did not do justice to our incensed souls. A bucket resting on the open door sequence was as overdone as a scorched omlette. What the years of copping denunciation of the kind meted out to us merited was an attack on the most cherished aspect of his life. He was blessed with a loving wife, lived in a huge bungalow in the richest locality of town, had money to burn after years of teaching at our fine school, a wig, several cars that engendered covetousness in all, a legendary stamp-collection that was rumoured to be worth a bundle, a gorgeous daughter, a beloved set of archived books in his personal library, and an iPod nano. We picked the wig.

The plan was simple in its potentially monumental impact: On Convocation Day, all faculty are supposed to wear hats- probably in altruistic spirit to give us solace for having to don our own set of graduation hats. Amongst ourselves, we assigned a group the task of applying a generous amount of glue on the interior crown of his hat half an hour before the ceremony. We also knew the Chief guest was scheduled for his speech right after the English teacher's farewell speech. If all went well, he would doff his hat in respect to the Chief guest, and with it strip his head of its modesty in front of the entire congregation present. And the consummate clergy of photographers there would capture the hysteric moment for posterity, and in all likelihood publish it as well since it contained the Chief guest.

He reported sick on the day. It later emerged that it was on account of hair transplant surgery.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Reading deeply into the bespactacled page,
you stare for engravings to say hi.
When you become well read, as goes the adage-
spilt milks seldom cry.

Ostrocized beer cans strew themselves about
smelling for their salts- frantic;
and desperation gets into the bout
to quash any ill-advised brave antic.

Pressurised keys sound their steam
and once state their cause.
Gazing around to catch a moonbeam
they fall over and across.

Years of thorough squeezes
guarantee the cloth its creases,
and only a lifetime of prayer
would absolve you of all your fleeces.

Curtain calls for its daily wage
and you must rush to its glory
Get your share before rushed gets the stage.
People want their chunk of the story.

Dandruffs careen over the scalp
while watches wash their hands;
braces reach for their cousins for halp
and the stick gives sad way.

Leaving the choice alone
the duck did itself well.
Rabbits could dig their carefree way out of stone
but we must chime the pleading bell.

Vacated placards recalled their slogan
as soon as the apple reached the slavering Earth.
Scientific is its approach to a poem
regarded to generate well-timed mirth.

De-odourants cry out for their suction cups
and hugely talented ants oblige merrily;
the lowly ant sat moaning its pups
as its brothers got converted verily.

Saved now, he thought back to those days
of unbridled ends that would always kick buckets.
This man hasn't opened his card case
for fear of drawing crying muppets.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ever felt the cringing pain of a vaccuous inspiration? Like when you want to convey some deeply ingrained thing, but just can't find the pluck to summon your powers of articulation, probably cos you're scared of what it might reveal?

Sunday, April 26, 2009


As night drapes its silken folds over your bared shoulders,
and the pitched garments of shelter begin to take over,
you wish for the same fate every moonfall
that absolves the day's every cat call.

Sprays from indignant paint cans
rise above the towering masses of think tanks
and trim the edges of papier mached Sultans
as they bare their corrugated arms
and shelve their teeth for more trying times.

Cupboards filled with fickle sickles
that shape-shift until it tickles
the sneeze out
are all that lie about
in the falsely floated doubt
of being embroilled in the thickest of pickles.

Miserable clocks can't help their fate.
Ticking hands seldom abate
the bubbling coils of enraptured dusk-
they actually intensify the potent hint of musk.

Pride would well in the bosom of the ascetic
who can't seem to remember the specifics
of the tired balls that sought
to tie his hair in its penitent knot,
when he beholds his hazy horizon
shimmer with the lazy approach of the sun,
carrying forth a pot of videotaped poison.

It would course and gambol
child-like in flow; out of control
within the thirsty, bleeding canals
and merge blessed chemicals as they dance
with the deserving, parched cells of penance
and condense the rubed vessels
into droplets slated to do nothing else
when their time came.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A broken desire to conjure
having digested something obscure,
penned by prurience demure,
wishfully trying to secure
a vision of the untainted viewer-
How inevitable it is that i use here the word "pure"?

Seed sown by some alien observer,
that cares for the safety of the meek pervert
blossoms in the awakened chambers
in the cranial recesses of a mute server.

While all the while the precious mountain
waits to be fallen off of; as we dream again
long abated memories of glorious green fen-
resurfacings need to find their niche in the pen
and in the absolved waters of Christopher Wren.

But as sure as proficient doubt beginning to creep,
weapons of purchased safety can only sleep
long into the diurnal hours in Lonely Street,
where none but the strongest hearts are privileged to weep.

These clawed fists are useless;
they want to punch out contrived beings into shallow existence
as if their accursed births might help lower the bends
and mock the true countenance
that lies unsurfaced beneath several continents
of unshaped amends;

Although picturesque pearls of damp pity give them away
they will their sodden commands for themselves to stay
and not escape the entombed buckets.
A little pious feline dropped her gaze,
averted by abandoned ashtrays.
They sought to set ablaze
the severed butts long after they had outstayed
their unworthy welcomes.

But yet the miserable cat moans
and extends tendrils of great piteousness that condones
all of its wretched everyday tones
for the nanoseconds within which lie its bejewelled loans.

Coated by blind layers of glossy indifference,
the allaying words seem not of so much offence.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


brains are such finnicky characters. they refuse to function unless you oil them and water them and feed them and take them out on regular walks and give them a little treat everytime they do a complex trick and burp them etc. And it's kinda hard to feel generous towards them when u picture them as the gooey, membraney, soya-textured lumps of neurons... not very engendering of a maternal feeling. 

but still if brains have something going for them, it's how good a bully they are. they hold your happiness ransom and threaten ur sanity unless u grant them their grossly unreasonable demands.. ever heard the phrase "who's the brains behind this underhanded scheme of unparralleled notoreity?"? well you can decode its origin quite easily looking at it from my point of view. brains are gangsters that hold your children hostage and want constant attention in ruturn. and if u go complaining about them they take irrational offense and punish your ass further to make sure you understand who's really boss. (psst, i think she's waking up ..   think i heard the unmistakeable sound of unravelling brain folds. she always wakes up whenever you think too much. and this is overflowing with sheer muchness. i'd better stop)