Friday, August 31, 2007


Drowsy eyed
I wake from bed
See myself
In the reflection,

I am of
Disheveled person
Staring back,
Frightening me.

Come-on ma’am,
Get up ma’am,
Comb your hair,
Iron the crease,

I say
To the reflection
In the mirror
As I hold my cheeks,
Make me clean.

The reflection
Then smiles at me,
Neat and lean,
Out of dream

I look into
The looking glass,
I see my left as my right,
Reversed, inverted,
But it is ‘Me’

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Typhoon in Hong Kong (Fiction)

September afternoon, Suman, my room mate, warns me not to walk down the street, to buy the grocery on this dark, cloudy day, and I look at him confused, “Heavy rains”, he says, “Beware! Not a bright idea! There is a signal of typhoon number eight.”

“Do you know that my fridge is starving? There is only a warning, I could finish my work and stock my fridge before the typhoon paralyses my daily routine.” I protest as I shut the door behind me, walking away from his non-stop mumblings.

I elbow my way through the narrow exit into the deserted street. Over the edge of a road, rows of trees stand erect, with their crown whipped roughly by angry winds that accelerate its speed.

The fierce, blowing breeze kneads my silky skirt, exposing my bare skin shamelessly.

Roads, like a war zones, rattle with crashing sounds as bill boards and street lights come tumbling down.

Nervously, I fumble with my umbrella, trying to shield from rain as dust mingle with flying debris. Wind is violent and I walk only a few meters. I see two men in their long overcoat and hat, with their hand shielding their face, walk swiftly, taking long steps and cross over to the other side of the road. Fear walks all over me and I wonder. Am I crazy to walk into this deserted street? There is not a soul on the road.

I regret not having stayed at home. Should I go back and face this ‘I-told-you-so look’ or should I go to supermarket and finish my shopping. The bus stop on my right, its stiff pole, balances its firm roots to the ground, shaking only at its top half, and the billboard on its roof vibrate as the drops of rain smash against its green, shiny surface, blinding its script.

I am reminded of the warning of typhoon number eight! I shudder as a thought occurs to me about its outcome. The two previous typhoons, which landed in South China few years ago had killed more than 600 and brought huge economic losses. The local governments had warned people to watch out for flood and landslide. They had drafted plans to call back fishermen on the sea, checked and protected reservoirs, monitored natural disasters like floods and landslide, and arranged evacuation of people in dangerous areas to safe places. Schools were closed, flights were grounded and the city was paralyzed for many days.

I walk through the winds, between the sheets of metal and the branches of trees that are scattered on the streets, my umbrella blows sideways, turning me swiftly. I decide to return home. A game of scrabble with Suman and a cup of hot coffee is a better choice on this fierce rainy day. I retrace my steps through the cobbled-stone ground, walking carefully, taking smaller steps and avoiding the pot-holed puddle on the street. I am afraid of falling and with greater resistance, I endure the force of the winds, planting my feet firmly on the ground, as I retreat to walk back home.

‘Okay baby, no mood to buy the groceries, we will have to make do with mashed potatoes and boiled eggs.” I say.
I see a smile, lopsided, hardly there, but there. He looks at me with a scorpion eye, staring at the mutilated umbrella in my right hand.

I am surprised too. What the hell! Why is his hair dripping droplets down his wet face? Why is he drenched in clinging clothes? Did he go out in rain too? Did he follow me?

I see then, behind him the angry rain come boisterously through the open window uninvited.

“Why is this window open? Don’t you know that some skyscrapers had their windows blown out sending shards of glass on to people below?” I say as I go towards the window to shut it close.

As I walk in, my body is lunged forward, taking me off guard as my feet slide, far apart in opposite directions through the slippery floor and I am down on my buttocks in an aerobic pose into the puddle of rain water, scattered randomly into my drawing room.

Through his dark eye lashes and crinkled smirk, I see his anxiety reflected. I know it then, that he, too, had peeped out, craning his neck out through an open window, oblivious of the fury of rain, stretching his body, bending at the mid-torso at ninety degrees, desperately throwing a glimpse at the street below, wondering, whether I was safe

And through my whimpering and tears, I see him bend down, on his knees, closer to me as he starts to laugh loudly, very loudly, diluting the sounds of thunder of angry rains.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I am the Creator of my Feelings

Here I am! The creator of my life
I rule my own world, singing a tune

Singing a tune at a driver’s seat
I can maneuver around, choosing a space

A space between stimulus and a response
Carefully I drive, watching for hurdles.

Watching for hurdles through this narrow space
To search my destination of happiness and peace,

Happiness and peace, they rest for a while when
Signals of critics and unhappy people surround

Unhappy people surround, think they can stop me
When I am not, in my street car named desire

In my street car named desire, I can drive around
Speeding, and feeling on the top of the world

Top of the world, is the matter of choice
Nothing to do with dream world or reality

Reality is hard and full of brakes
If there is accident, whom do I blame?

Do I blame the Creator of my life?
I think I can rule, so here I am.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Daydreaming (Fiction)

I remove my hairclips, and stretch comfortably on a high chair. Through the shiny, large mirror, I see Annie gently comb my hair with her fingers, separating the knots between my thick strands of hair. I feel the tingling sensation through my scalp.

‘Same dye?” she asks as she turns to mix two different shades, squeezing out the paste from the tube of gold and blond, into a cup.

I close my eyes. The soft music from the radio is very soothing.

I like the sensation of the cool paste on my scalp as she combs the strands and starts to apply the dye.

“Aunty, is this your purse” says Karan, nine-year-old boy, who lives in my lane. Karan is a very naughty kid and always up to some mischief. He is a bully and many children complain about his pranks.

“Oh! Thank you! Give it to me.” I stretch my arm to take back my purse, but he just smiles and hides the purse behind his back.

“Will you give me a chocolate if I return your purse?” he says as his dimples deepen on his cheeks.

“Where is your Mom? What are you doing here?” I say, as I knit my brow and stare at him.

“Mom is doing facial, over there.” He says as he points towards a small cabin, at the end of the room, covered by a plastic curtain.

“I have no chocolates in my purse, but if you return my purse, I will buy some for you.” I say as I stretch my arm once more towards his chest.

“No, I want it now.” He says stubbornly.

‘Okay, lets go” I say as I snatch my purse from him and I grasp his tiny fingers into mine. We go to our car that is parked outside the building compound.

I slide into my driver’s seat while Karan sits behind, holding on to the back of my seat. I turn on the key and push my feet on an accelerator and speed through the traffic, ignoring all the signals, driving through an express highway, into the narrow lane, till we reach a muddy path. Karan chuckles happily, he seems to enjoy this joy-ride.

I stop the car in front of old wooden cottage.

‘What place is this?” he asks innocently as he sprints out from the car and starts to walk ahead of me towards the wooden cottage. The sun rays filter through the trees forming intricate design on the ground.

“Shut up! Walk quietly! You ask too many questions.” I shout as I take two long step to hold on to his elbow.

“Ouch! You are hurting me, Aunty! Let go of my arm!” he says as he tries to break free of my strong grip.

I drag him forcefully into the house, we enter the empty house, I unbolt one door and push him into an empty room, locking the door behind him. I hear him banging the door with his fist and shouting, “What’s wrong? Uh? Open the door! Open the door! Please aunty, please.” But I just ignore him.

I sit on an empty cane chair, outside in the verandah and dial a number.

“Want to have fun? Would you be interested in nine-year-old kid? Sweet kid, he has cute dimples. Should I bring him for a party tonight?” I say quietly into the phone, smiling silently.

The banging on the door has stopped. I walk towards the door and strain my ears to listen for any sound. There is none.

I walk towards the back door and to the back of the house. The window is open. I peep in. Karan is not in. I look around. The huge trees in the courtyard swing with the breeze, the dry leaves wander carelessly in all directions. There are many plants surrounding the house. Maybe he is hiding behind those plants. I search everywhere but there is no trace of Karan. I cross the muddy path and go over to the row of other cottages; I walk further, the muddy path leads to a beach. There are few people at the beach, but there is no trace of Karan.

“Oh! My Goodness! How do I find Karan?”

‘Karan! Karan!” I call out as I retrace my steps towards the deserted house.

“Aunty! Here! Take your purse. Mom is calling me.” says Karan as he smiles sweetly, dumping my purse in to my lap.

“Madam, Can you please get up and come to the wash basin for a hair-wash?” says Annie as she hands me a fresh towel.

I wrinkle my nose, shrug my shoulders and turn to see Karan spread his arms around his mom’s waist.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dared to dream......

Many of my dreams have come true and that is because I dare to dream. Some have faced delays and some have not, but most of my dreams have come true.

In India, we get superstitious if we talk about our fortunes, we are afraid that people will put an evil eye on our accomplishment and the magic might fade away. That is why many people keep cribbing and hiding their wealth. They don’t want to talk about their luck. But my mom would say, don’t crib. Don’t ever say “I don’t have” we must always say “I have”. She would say that if we keep cribbing all the time then we really will not have, and if we have (even a little) and we say there is sufficient, the river of fortune flows in our direction.

And dreaming keeps the excitement alive. It is important to dream of the future, to visualize it in all details. Given, sometimes things don’t turn out exactly the way you want them, but having a dream gives us a sense of direction, a goal to pursue and a path to follow.

Dream carries us forward through the stormy weather, can make us climb the mountain, win affection of the person we love. It helps us cross the hurdles. A dream keeps us going.Such are the powers of mind!

Even if our dreams were not realized, we are still happy that at least for a moment we enjoyed, that moment, when we dared to dream!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mumbai rant...(Anthadi)

Mills closed down in Mumbai city
Replaced by multi, shiny malls
Smoky pillars puff no more
As people shop freely through those halls

Halls, filled to its brim,
stamping on each other’s frills,
People looking for a cheap bargain
amidst the array of branded goods.

Goods once sold, are not taken back,
People aghast at a broken patch,
Discovered through the fancy pack,
Foolishly bought an old rusty latch

Latch, she opened to see this man
In colored overalls, he looked a bit tanned
Offered him a drink in a can
He sat relaxed while she prepared some snack.

Snack was biscuit, wafers, water chilled
He sat and chatted to his heart fill
Time passed slowly, he asked for bill
She said she dropped the list at the mill.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Should I hold a grudge? Is it worth it?

First of all, why must I hold any grudge against anybody? Am I angry because he said something that I did not like? Everybody has right to their opinion, if it is in my favor, I am happy, so, then why am I unhappy when it is not in my favor? It in not necessary that every single person in this universe should like me, there has to be some group of people who will like me and also, there has to be some group who will dislike me, I have a choice, I can just avoid the people who dislike me instead of holding a grudge against them. I remind myself that he is just speaking his mind. If he is speaking the truth, then it is time to make some changes in my life, so that I don’t give people reason to talk bad about me, if, on other hand, what he is saying is not true and it does not describe me, then why am I annoyed? I know what I am. Don’t I? If he thinks I am not living up to his standard then that is his problem and his opinion, why must I be angry and hold grudge against him?

I would know I am holding grudge against somebody when I show disinterest in their work and want to avoid his presence. It is a bad feeling. Holding the grudge against somebody creates a bad vibration around us which affect only us. The other person may not even acknowledge your discomfort, so is it worth it?

We are uncomfortable in the presence of people against whom we have a grudge, and that causes irritation and anger, resulting in loss of appetite and leading to different health problems.

We can get over this feeling by introspection. We cannot change people’s behavior but we can change our own. We have to accept the people as they are and if we cannot accommodate them into our life, then we can just avoid them and be cordial to them if we are forced to tolerate them. Holding grudge against anybody is injurious to our own health. Smile works wonders. It is really not worth it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Freedom Assurance

On this day of Independence
We hear new assurances
Freedom, education, better life
Shall entwine, they say,

No more, I hope, the farmers
End, distressed life in
May he be blessed with
Honest progeny and not die

Hope he is educated and
Self-sufficient to feed his future
No more, I hope, we have street
Urchins, at signals, pedaling

Instead of playing moral police
Hope they decree
Not grease their palms with green,
Shiny moss, but rule with a crown of

With poverty extinguished, illiteracy
Blackened, will we be living in
The promises, they brew
Every year, I wish, they distil it

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mimicked Spectacle on 60th Independence Day (loop-anthadi)

At Wagah Gate, when clock chimes six
On evening of 60th Independence Day

Independence Day will be one more day
With marching, singing, music and fun

Music and fun with patriotic songs
Will fill the stadiums, as crowds cheer on

Crowds cheer on, flag-lowering-ceremony
At theatre of war on India-Pakistan border

India-Pakistan border, separated by heavy gates
About two meters apart, lie across each other.

Across each other, they hear sounds of yonder
Pakistan Zindabad! Hindustan Jai Hind!

Hindustan Jai Hind! They will roar once more
As couples run, balancing the National Flag

National Flag, the pride of Nation
Will sway volatile, with winds on both beds

On both beds, pounding the ground, soldier
With brusque exchange of mimicked threats

Mimicked threats, gates will open,
Approaching each other, they will shake hands.

They will shake hands, and birds will chirp
As they lower their own esteemed National Flag

National Flag, folded carefully, carried away
By soldiers, in their balanced goose-steps

Goose-stepping soldiers, march forward,
Shutting the heavy gate, with a sterner glance

With a sterner glance, roaring spectacle will fade
On 60th Independence Day, at Wagah Gate

Will You call me? Please!

From morning to night, I wait all day
Hoping my cell would ring

It rings, I check the number
But this is not a call from you

I tell myself, I will not answer
But I hope you will dial my number
So that I could disconnect your ring
or not answer at all

I want you to know that I am angry at you
Pout lipped I sit all day, staring at the phone
But you don’t call.


It has been two days now
I am still staring at my cell
The number that I wish would call
Is silent,

Damn it!
Why don’t you call?
Call me now, I need to disconnect
I need to ignore, I need to leave it unanswered
I need to let you know, that I am still sore


It has been three days now
The anger is there no more

I worry
Are you alright? Hope you are fine.
I wish you would call, I may not disconnect
I may not leave it unanswered

Just once, please call
Let me hear you say you are fine
I will promise,
To continue my anger some other day
But today, please call.

Oh. Well, can’t let my pride come in my way
I need to know, all is fine.
Here is the message, please read.
‘Hey! Are you okay?’

Pressing the keys with my thumb,
I write.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This is the way I was meant to be…

Just because small group of people
Do not accept me as I am
Should I strip my originality
and live a life displeased?

Do I have to dress my soul
In a frilly strips of charms
For some one to envelop me
in their pleasing, pleasant arms?

Do I stoop down on my knees
To dig a wealthy recognition
and forfeit my own true beliefs
to win a fake relation?

And what happens to me in long run
when I lose my greatest glory?
My uniqueness is my recognition
Can’t shed it on false story

There is kingdom for each of us
I as queen, reign in my own
I can’t ape, but I’ll wait
for gracious world to find me

Existence had loved me much
That it broke the mould
That made me

Another ‘I’ cannot be created
So let me be
Just ‘Me’

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Be my friend

You could befriend me
Reading just my profile
Secretly, carefully,
I write the most
Selected words to define me, and
You know not if it is true

Because you have just begun to know me
Across this vacant cyber space
Not sure if I am really me
But you play along and befriend me
Hooked on to my cleverly schemed words
That you assume they might define me
and you scroll down
looking for clues in my long lists
of my treasured muse, wondering,
if you might as well
believe me like those scores
of other friends, who were unsure too
but now they are back
to smile once more
for me
just one more time.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Can you hear me?

Poetry I know not what it means to you
But overwhelmed I am by your attitude
As you stand before me
Looking carelessly, oblivious of me
And I watch you
Snatching your attention
Words washed with my deep emotions
Spray across, trying to reach on to you
In spiral rhythms, stirring my soul,
I look for a hook to hang my verses
For I know not what my poetry
really means to you.

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