Monday, January 04, 2016

2016: Return to Self?


      You caught me. I am naked
I have nothing to hide behind other than shame
Shame for having stood still
While time ticked on by.

You know me. I am a somebody
A  somebody's somebody - a somebody person - a somebody human
Somebody made me his
While anniversaries notched up another year

You heard me. I am a liar
I am completely fine, No I do not need help, Yes I can do this alone
Sometimes I have ignored
While truth moved further away from the horizon

You have met me. I am real
Or used to be, until illusion took over and reality slipped away
Search operation was carried out
While perspective reduced to a blip on screen of memory

You remember me. I am here
Hungrily rummaging through the rubbish of sanity
Some stone walls have to be climbed
While the breath is still steady, and the heart is still alive

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dream Catcher

She wove me a web - of thread, and colour captured in patterns of pain and passion.
She laboured her love for me for hours and hours,
As she looped each dream around a bare steel wire that is being forced into a path
That must meet the following vein leading to the outer circle.
No, it's not her fault, she labours in love.

She doesn't know that I slept with spiders in my bed last night.
No they weren't there because I didn't clean my room.
They were there weaving my old memories into a web of their own,
And hanging by the sticky, grey threads waiting to meet me halfway
Between my dreams and nightmares.

No, there's nothing wrong with me.
My dreams are just a tad bit darker than hers,
And his', and theirs and yours

I dream of dark places sometimes
I dream of decay, of death, of autumn, of winter.
I dream of things that can't be spoken of and people who can't be named.
I dream of times when I've been left aghast under the weight of my own desires.
I dream of being held captive by the misery of resounding silence of solitude.
I dream of being allowed to mourn.

Time and again I will go back to the places where it smells of his fresh cigarette ash,
To the sound of his walking stick hitting the ground in his rhythmic motion of
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.
I look for that pattern of eight constantly in the beats of a drum,
in the time signature of a song.
I'll even count my steps sometime to match that pattern
Or hold onto the second arm of the clock and break into ticks of his walking stick.

I'll await a cold winter's spell to seep into my open pores
And the fog to cloud my senses numb,
Just to feel that wrinkle of old, drying, scabby skin on my arm.
The way the middle of my arm would feel when they wouldn't stop poking his bony limb
To find his veins to inject him with the venom to kill the cancer that had been eating away at his flesh.

See I have tried to feel his pain, I wouldn't lie.
I have wished for that disease to eat away at my living being, just so I could feel closer to him.

I told you this wasn't a dream you'd want for me.
This is the dying wish of a living soul.
Just so I wouldn't forget what he looked like,
What he wore,
How he spoke,
How he smelled,
What he imbibed for me.

This is somewhere between a nightmare and a dream.
This is just where I want to be.

Will she catch this dream for me?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Light?

He doesn’t reside within
It’s a lie
The spear-tailed demon
and the luminous angel
The ambiguous creature
We all must fear, must hate, must love, must emulates
There is no divinity
There is no eternity
There is no freedom
He picks at your flesh, like your vapid carcass
Who’s already given up
in this summer-fed heat

What hope do you seek within?

This world is a product of humanity 

Thursday, January 02, 2014


I resolve to dream bigger this year.
Oh no, maybe I shouldn't say such things anymore.
A better poet… heck no a better writer,
Yes a better writer.
A better singer…of many a bathroom serenades
Made to the shower head while breaking the crescendo.
As that sputtering water cascades down on my face, my skin
Clearing away the blurred lines made by the fuzzy memories
of the year gone by.

A whole year went by and I am supposed to have grown
stronger, sadder, simpler because that is less complicated,
But you know what if I am complicated?

Does it matter that the water couldn’t blur away the stretch marks
the sun burn crevices, the wrinkles and the worry lines, the stray grey
that’s hidden in the black of my hair with its sullen wisdom?

The bones and muscles that are
that more likely to break and break down now than they were the year before?

Does it matter really if I laugh that less louder, or if I sometimes try to yell
welled up with emotion - but the sound just doesn’t come?
'Tis not the teenage angst, but the vocal chords doth do protest much. 

Does it matter that this body and this mind are ageing?
Is it a bad thing? But am I not a wiser this year?

They tell me I am ageing like it’s an irreparable damage.
They tell me I am not young because
I can’t stay up all night, pass out due a shot induced comma at dawn
And wake up instead with pouches under my eyes and dark circles narrating
tales of an era that’s gone by in the darkness of just one night.

They tell me I will never be as I was a year ago, because my body
is that less desirable, my hair is that less smoother and my eyes that less brighter.
You wouldn’t want to lie with me under a starry-skied night anymore
Because my inter-planetary, space travel stories don’t charm,
Don’t ooze with magic and sparkle with the burning joy of my fast expiring youth


I am growing older, I make better resolutions, I am not less magical
I still dream of blazing comet trails brightening up the night sky with great light and wonder
My eyes still shine and my skin still trembles with the idea of a world that is beyond the horizon.
I don’t want answers anymore to the what ifs, but instead I ask now what else?

Why don’t you see me the same way I do? 
Am I suddenly not a dreamer because my body is now becoming an eye patch
that you’d shut your one eye behind, while the left strays idly in boredom.

Age is a number and a growing sign of my mortality
Age is grace and a chance to break free from "dignified morality."

I resolve to be a bigger dreamer this year. I am a weaver and a catcher
The night sky shines bright even during the day, but you’re blinded by its sun-lit beauty.
Look beyond the blinding white light, hear beyond the shrieking white noise
I’m going to lie down and drift to another universe with eyes open wide,
do you think you could dare to dream too?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Remember 1984

I want milk. I want milk Ma. 
Screams ran through our rental in Chandigarh
On the morning of October 31, 1984

I was one year old and I was crying in pain, in want, in denied comfort.
All across the streets outside my tenement
Turbaned men and their women cried in pain, in want, in denied comfort.
You killed Indira Gandhi. You murderers. You Freaks. You Whores. You Sikhs

For an era those sounds will come to haunt.
Of bullets raining like fire, 
Of knife cutting through flesh, 
Of bloodcurdling yells from raped, burnt, discarded bodies, 
Of footsteps running in triumph and fear.

And smells of burning tires, of rotting flesh, of flowing streams of dirty blood.
But I slept through it all. I was simply an imp, an infant 
Crying for milk the morning they hacked people of my faith
Through curfew-imposed days when we lived like caged animals
They hacked us into fear.

But I, I slept through it for 29 years. 
Till today

Today I am awake
I hear it in the court rulings, 
the acquitals, 
in rioting thousands everytime there’s a question of religion
I hear it in the silence
of orphaned lots who not only lost their parents
but their faith

I have not forgiven Godhra
Yet I have forgotten Blue Star

I am the child born to a faith repressed by you high warring lords
Keeping your chairs and sticking by the guns of your voting banks
I am the woman whom you martyred at the pulpit of religion
You castrated my men, burnt my children, dismembered my soul
I am the man whom you forced to take a knife to my hair
Strip-searched to my naked skin, stripped of my identity

I am the forgotten blood
I am the forgotten Pain
Mine is the denied justice
Mine is the ignored hate

Like a third-rate step-cousin to the Hindu or the Muslim 
You kept me out of your prayers, your jihad, your Ramnam

You have forgotten me.
But still
I am the muse of your jokes
I am the strength of your nation
I am to die to keep your borders safe
I even do the Bhangra for your stage.

I remember 1984
I smell the gunpowder
I remember the massacre
I remember it all Ma

I am 30 years old and I still cry in pain, in want, in denied comfort.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Toss and Turn

I am a whole string section
Of heaves, horns and noise
A humdrum of vacant feelings
Color cuts through me
As melody does through verse
I lie in your embrace
Drifting mindlessly 
All thoughts at sea

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


How about I just slip away
And yet stay anchored at the shore
May I ?