Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catch me if you can

When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall
Then how should I begin
To spit out the butt-ends of my days and ways?”
--- T.S.Eliot

I juggle with the masks
And throw in one I like.
Now you take your call
And scan if you can.

I’ll only chuckle
And juggle all the way.

Cast your nets
And set out the traps,
Try as you may
I’ll still fly away.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Anthem of the Dwarf

A figure haunts my weary dreams.

From the darkest pits of time
It slowly rises as in smoke
And gently waving pensive arms
Casts a thousand-questions glance.

Out of time I grope about
In the vacant room of dream
And watch the slide of pouring sands
Which scream and tell me what I lost.

Out of ashes drenched with tears
Rose the blooming golden moon
And begged me then with open arms
To leap into a hope of bliss.

Tangled all in rotten weeds
I could only fall and sigh.

Caught in clock, I trudge along
And queue-up for my rationed joy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Thoughts

I wonder what he would do
When asked to forgive
A creature who had killed
Hundreds in a day
With endless hate
And thirst for more!

I wonder what miracle
He with his love will conjure
And heal the wounded souls,
Who, charred for life
With bloody loss
Have lost the faith to hope.

I wonder without answer.

I only hope he comes
And cleansing all our souls
Of roaring storms
Of hate and rage
Lifts our hearts to light and peace
As like sunlit clouds in May.

I hear your hollow laugh;
Somewhere back, another blast.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shades of Red

How does it feel
To vomit into silence
Crimson sheets,
Laden with emotion,
Written in haste?

I know I should have thought
And asked it much before.

Silence swiftly volleys back
With all the force rejections pack.
Shrapnel-phrases spear through,
And leave a leaking rotting wretch,
Grimly painted all in red.

Count the slowly dying days
And wonder how I made,
With all the blood and sweat I have
My arrow bed in red.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Moment

Bathed in shining morning joy
I lose myself in beauty’s bliss;
Away from all the hue and cry
Lost in spells of loveliness.

Shining like the sunlit dew
Fleeting moments whisper by,
And caught in web of silent art
Grow and glow in memory.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I wade across my muddy lanes
Trying hard to balance still
Weary bleeding halting steps
Who hear no more my fractured will.

Only I watch and count one by one
Magnificent kites that once had flown,
But now lie inert, here and there
Drenched in rain and broken in half.
Years of toil and glorious days
Swiftly pale to scornful laugh,
Of all who had flown but could not soar,
Happy to know the best is no more.

I steel my back and watch the brooding clouds
Awaiting the storm, to roar and pounce.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Just tell me bro
What do you know
Of coming back to dark rooms
Where the weary stillness looms
And the silence masticates
The stale air that suffocates?

Dance with the shadow
And play out the song.
Your call’s on hold
And the queue too long.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


How can I tell you what it means to hear
Those insistent footfalls in your dreams,
That chase me down to dim lit lanes,
As if to drag me down with them
To who-knows-what unfathomed caves?
How do I clearly explain, when at night
I shudder at those horrid cries
That pierce the lull of sleepy night
And stab at me with wolfish grin?
You cannot be more confused my friend
Than I who face their daily wrath
And writhe as one in torture cell.

You think I do not try? Do you, really?
You with your starched clean shirts and salaries!
What do you know of one who questions
The very fact that he’s still alive?
Every day I try to catch hold of some stranger
Who may stay awhile and listen to my ravings,
That I may unburden some of the poison
That seethes within and kills me bit by bit-
Just as I am trying now; but in vain.
You see, the moment I try to dig out
That vault of filth that that batters within
Something seems to cry - “Hold your peace! Hold! Hold!
Bloody wretch! Have you guts to face it all?”
I sigh and cower in doubt and fear.
After all, who knows who the man may be!
Dare I risk? Dare I speak the name I didn’t?
The fiend gloats and starts his daily show.
I am like that man you see- what’s his name-
Who chained to rocks- I keep forgetting why-
Played a daily feast to bloody eagles’ beaks.
He, at least, I think, was proud of what he did!
“Shame” is too little to explain my plight.
And so the show goes on and gashes open fresh.
The cactus load still hangs round the neck.

It wasn’t always like this you know.
I was like you too, happy safe and settled.
Why do you smirk? Is there something down there too?
Ah, I guess not. You really don’t seem such.
You know, I was even praised as an honest man!
Who would have thought? Me like this? Never!
“We plan and scheme and dream in hope,
But slide to hell in a slippery slope.”
Those words aren’t mine. A sage told me once.
He too tried to fish it out. Bless his soul.
He fled in horror after a peep.
That too scares me nowadays. Why bother?
My truth will do you more harm than good.
May be like me, you too will feel that frenzy;
That frenzy in your blood that makes one mad
And conjure such abominations of hell
That the very sight seems to numb the senses
And drives the limbs to do such acts
Which seem to unhinge the dearest truths
And burn them all in blazing flame.

Pardon my excesses! You see what it does?
What, are you leaving? So soon? Please mister…
Did I offend you in any way? Did I?
Please excuse the ravings of one who is ill.
It is not that? Then why look you so pale?
Is it? I see it plain in your eyes friend!
Forgive me what I woke from the sleep.
We shift between them both; there’s no rest.
Sometimes the mariner, sometimes the guest.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


My words wither on parched lips;
Clouds on clouds roll down to eyes
And all around a grey unfolds
That coils me tight in shabby smoke.

The figures melt to messy blobs
And drag me down to turbid pools.

I float awhile with weary lids,
Dripping down with vacant dreams
Which wrap me up in growing rings
And to silence swiftly fade.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


A gaping silence devours us all.
We throw in words,
Like reluctant spits
That vanish as fast as withered sighs
And leave still larger cliffs beneath.

All that lasts is a swelling void
That lies beyond our count or grasp.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I know you don’t believe me
I know you think its wrong.

I wish you could be there
To watch with what precision
They rip me up in pieces
Flashing the long needles
Scissors, scalpels all,
To announce the grave verdict,
With prophetic poise and tone
On the strange case
Of one arrogant wretch.

At least give me praise
For bearing it all awake!

Morning evening afternoon…
You’ll find me all the time
Stretched out alive
Like a frog in the lab
Counting the span
Of each dissecting day.

The reports are all the same.
“He thinks he knows it all.”
“Behavioural problem, you see.”
“He needs counseling, I think.”
“There’s a limit to tolerance, you know.”

Babbling breed of painted beasts.
Sinners don’t stone others.
I am a man
More sinned against than sinning.

I am not showing off.
Comes naturally, you see.
Must cling to something-
Even if it’s a text.
At least I know old Will
Will not come and judge.
Perhaps he too will ask,
Biting at his quill
“Is there a cause in nature
that makes these hard hearts?”

I know it’s all futile,
Resenting all in vain.
Just twist and twirl
Like a broken can
Through the primrose cactus lane
To meet at length the twilight-time
When flocks of doves
Will fly way
Into the womb of sunlit clouds
Bearing dreams on purple wings.

Till then the wheel must turn,
Through all the potholed stretch of time,
Smeared in dirt and filth
To wrest at least at last
The freedom to be me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

kolkata jingles

Songs for Spring

“Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear.”


Morning seeps through
The smell of unclean sweat.
One by one the blackened words
Flash across the dizzy rush-
“how many deaths?how?”.
The throng of nameless faces pass-
Jerk, nudge, push, trip.
The mouse in lab begins the run.


The whips crack throughout the day.
Ticking clock’s the rhythm divine.
Kling klang beep cling,
Click copy paste click;
Shadows are flushed down the toilets.
Click copy paste click.
Sighs are squeezed through greasy lips,
Sluggish drop the soiled cuffs.

Once again the muddy rush;
Waves on waves of stillborn eyes.
At last arrives the promised end-
A riddling roar of digital kin;
Mothers wives and mothers-in-law-
Love weep shout plot,
And bills and lists and calls and bills.
Trembling fingers crawl for pills.


Eyelids muse at scratched up walls
As island-riven bedsheets snore.
Either a daily dose of blank
Or just a fruitless physical drill.
Only during rarest nights,
Shining stardust showers forth
And painting eyes with rainbow dreams…

Torn by the heat of stagnant blades.

A beggar starts his jarring song,
Feebly stretching stinking arms-
A hapless quest for absent alms.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Doomsday dreams

The chips fall down.
The dry wind dithers to and fro
Beneath the blank sky
Bearing dust and dying leaves
And rolls across the potholed road
To sink in stinking open drains
Where flies and worms do nest and breed
And prepare alike for a mighty feast.

The chips fall down,
Perhaps never to rise…

Notes on the Margin


Still the fire burns
And claims more and more
Across the land
In an anarchy of blood
That knows no end.
Who plots? Who wins? Why?

The answer my friend
Is nowhere in the wind.

Who knows what burns
In silence and dark
That suddenly explodes
In a carnival of death.

I know not how to feel
The anguish of those
Who scatter into death
With sanctified hate.

I only know the screams
That out of rubble rise;
The agony on the faces
Smudged with dirt and blood
Which knows no consolation
In here or hereafter.

I don’t see a jot of holy or just
Only a chaos of unmeaning loss.