Saturday, September 30, 2017

Silent Rain


Like snowflakes descend on lonesome mountains,
Like flowers wither when winter calls,
Like tall stories play in a charade,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like a stifled cry of a forlorn heart,
Like the suppressed screams of a lingering brawl,
Like the brimming quiet in the depth of an ocean,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like rewound tapes of forgotten memories,
Like the spirited hope to mend broken walls,
Like the edgy first stir of a revolution,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like glittering pearls form in dark oyster shells,
Like the last glow of the setting sun enthralls,
Like the mute protest of a rebellious bard,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.

Like the impatience of a ticking clock,
Like injustice thrives in sparring court halls,
Like the slow chug of a train at a hopeful station,
It’s in that hush the silent rain falls.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fleeting Moments

Passes swerve, a shadow up a mountain.
Snow valleys litter.
Like strewn blobs of paper,
a writer's infinite attempts at free verse.

A mountain trail here
and an eager stream there,
the recluse makes an appearance.

Closeted in hearty laughter of a jocund company,
hidden in mindless banter.
Not anymore.
The mountains engulf. They fill a void. 

But like lonely caves in a forgotten civilization's past,
they create another.
Hollow, but deep.

Rivers move on, like a clock's hands.
They ebb and flow as they please.
Upon meandering paths, up mighty peaks,
down crooked crevasses. 

Tales weave themselves in and out of a distant mind.
Lost, bipolar and ecstatic.
A puppet, stringed in nature's game.

Fleeting moments, like a lightning's streak,
flash and fade. They flow with a river's song,
they rise like a mountain's pride
and fall like a stream's humility.

And then, out there, in the real world,
plains gather dust. Concrete jungles tempt a living.
They are on their own trip.

But that fleeting moment,
is it really over when it ends?


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Star Gazer

In their millions, they shine, 
Some gleeful, some whine 

She sits, cross legged, soaking them in. 
The noises in her head, a loud din

Then a shooting star lights up the night.
Those troubled noises fleet, put up a vain fight.

She smiles to herself, wishing upon a star. 
The star smiles back, so near yet so far.

They weave a blanket and sing a sweet song. 
That only she can hear, all night long. 

Why wonder what shapes shimmering stars make?
Why trace back time, for whose sake?

You're a mere speck, in a mammoth universe.
You're an accident, a result of a Big Bang, for better or for worse.

The stars shine today, as they did yesterday,
They will shine on, here, there or away.

She looks down, her neck sprained.
Stars call her back, desires restrained. 

She looks up one last time, she tells them, she misses him. 
The stars shine on: He can see us too, don't be grim.

She smiles, a lonely star gazer.
As twinkling stars chide and chase her.



Friday, March 31, 2017

Fear of the Known


Tread on a road less taken,
On lands long forsaken.

Swerving hairpin bends,
A shady alley that never ends.

Steep, rocky, a warmer clime,
Far-removed from man and time.

Down dark, unforgiving lanes.
Mirages fool, like sparkling panes.

But it’s all as new as a sun-kissed day.
Trials or quests, call it what you may.

Care not for the familiar.
How long can you hold it dear?

Where the same river flows,
Where the same star glows.

Dancing to the same tune.
Same desert, same dune.

Like going in circles, round and round.
Chained in dreary shackles that bound.

Break free, fly away, be a mystery.
Conquer a mountain, flag victory.

The unseen, the unheard, the unknown.
Undo the fear of the known.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Doubling Up

That noise in the silence 
A stillness that moves.
Calming, this violence
Warring peace ensues.

A longing soars humbly,
In its shallow depth.
That feeling so numbly
Alive in its death. 

Those brittle words stay,
Carving broken promises.
Making a stubborn heart sway,
A blink the mind misses.

Oblivious to the obvious,
Reckless clues, careless signs.
An innocence that's devious
A brimming feeling resigns.

Pushing, shoving, I give it my all.
Double up, hope, and stay true.
In all honesty, In no manner small,
That's really the best I can do. 

Saturday, December 03, 2016

On Her Deafness

When John Milton wrote, On His Blindness, arguably one of his most revered works, he was almost completely blind.

Inversely, as I write this, I am almost completely not-deaf. Finally, in my senses. Somewhat. It’s great to get back to ‘normal’—if there’s any such thing—or is it?

Two weeks ago, I had lost the ability to hear. Thanks to an annoying rendezvous with a cold that liked me so much that it overstayed its welcome. It infected my right ear and made thoughts, words, sounds, noise—sometimes my own—alien. It felt like people were talking to me lightyears away. Like I was talking to myself lightyears away.

I realized, how oblivious I was to my ears, and every little thing I heard. Whether it mattered or didn’t. Whether it was worth it or not. But when you lose the ability to hear, you have to double the effort to use the little ability that’s left to hear. This also means you tend to listen to even trivial, ignorable, slight things that you couldn’t care less about.

And because of your lack of hearing prowess, you tend to strain to hear which sometimes appears like you are taking interim interest in petty things. Like the color of the new Rs 2,000 note and how it has ‘nano-technology GPS’, which is absolute bullshit. Nano-technology and GPS are as compatible as demonetization and a migrant worker. They don’t work well together because one has nothing to do with the other. Severe lack of logic gets me worked up. With my half-ear, I gave them an earful.

In that list of trifles, there’s another wedding in the family. Alright, that isn’t petty but weddings are over-rated. And the more weddings I attend, in whatever capacity, the less and less I want to hear more of it. Ah! Hear. And because I couldn’t hear, I thought I’d be spared. But no mercy for the disabled. Not even from your own family.

What to sing, what to dance, what to wear, how to look, I am asked, like I am the Google of weddings. They send me songs that I can’t hear, they sing to me when I can’t appreciate, they show me clothes that I am not thrilled about, and they share choreographed sangeet performances that make me want to pop my antibiotics—even when I don’t need them.

Worse, you can’t even say their demands fell on my deaf ears or like they say I can’t even do ek kaan se suno, dusre se nikaal do. The right ear is blocked. No outlet, bro!

I should have broken a few bones or lost my memory or something. The sorry fact that I was hard of hearing, sadly didn’t qualify as an excusable disability.

But there’s always a silver lining. I am glad I was able to lend an ear, thankfully the one that was working, to a friend who needed it the most. I had to not merely just hear what she was saying, I had to listen. Sometimes, you don’t need ears to listen. Okay, at least not both. You only need to listen. Just that.

The first time I read On His Blindness was over ten years ago. But it has stayed with me to this day. And I don’t know why. I don’t even like it that much.

Not like William Wordsworth’s Daffodils. That, I truly love. It’s such a happy poem, such a happy place:

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


As long as you can feel that, who needs ears?

Friday, November 25, 2016

When Reason Met HIM

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HE said: It’s November 8,
We must no longer wait.
Time to throw a surprise.
Let’s demonetise.

A shocked Reason stepped in.
It said: 86 percent in the bin?
HE said: Don’t question my ‘advice!’
I am NaMo, and NaMo is wise.
Let’s demonetise.

Reason looked aghast.
It said: The economy won’t last.
HE said: Oh that’s bound to reprise.
Let’s demonetise.

Reason let out a cry.
It said: People will fry, ATMs will dry!
HE said: That’s a small price,
‘The greater good’ will realize.
 Let’s demonetise.

Reason tried again
It said: For the poor, too much pain.
Farmers, maids, daily wagers: What do they gain?
HE said: Oh can’t you see?
It’s not about the money!
For the greater good, they must rise.
Let’s demonetise.

Reason walked up to leave
It said: Black money will end, you believe?
HE said: It’s a gamble and I rolled the dice,
I am NaMo and NaMo is wise.
Let’s demonetise.

And since then, Reason’s lost.
In long queues, in a fake survey,
And a famished daily wager’s cost.
But NaMo and his followers apprise,
Don’t cry over Reason’s demise.
It’s a small inconvenience, not a vice.
Let’s demonetise.