Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sighs Unaddressed

Unknown as leaves amid spring summer breeze
Or trivial as stones in the destiny of brooks,
I flit by her presence and vainly now hope
For sprinklings of green amid brown grey or rust
That kindle my embers of hope.

Her lips now are made my rosaries of faith
Her face my icon of anchorage in storm.

So I conjure my lines from glances unseen
And weave a whole yarn from words she won't speak
That gather my sighs unaddressed.

Only in hours both idle and worn,
I indulge in dreams full of rebirth or more
And script a new fantasy of time-travel lore
That moves our orbits up close.

Once these are gone, I plod back on earth
And stagger as a discarded can in its groan.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

In Search of the Reader

Here among causeways of irony and hope,
I shoulder my robes full of autumn and its leaves
And harbour all reeds within time's storied urns
That breathe a few whispers of texts that are lost,
Now in our quarries of fate.

Tethered to their bones by memories now tossed,
I wonder and droop with chisel still in hand
And carve all my songs now on stone.

Etched with my veins that flower now on walls,
I wait for the gaze of one who would hear
Symphony of waves through these stones.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


At times a few words or moments will fling
A strange shade of light on choices you made
That startle and shackle your steps.

So you ponder as an angler with quietness and thought
Never knowing what from the lake of your depths
Shall pop, float or splatter with mystifying gaze
And tarnish those images you sheltered so long,
Here at the rim of these dark, raven woods
That mock our whirlgig of rides.

Rattled now and awed, I retrace my steps

And search for the charades I had left.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Vacation Blues

Here in the company of poplars and pines,
Where ever-roaming clouds do slide through your bars
Even as butterflies ballet among leaves
And leave me all dazed with splendours of sense
That still would all glitter and shimmer without end,
At night as I fixate on  light-dotted vales
Which glimmer as if diamonds are splattered on your screen
Bright beyond all that is known, done and seen.

In the next room, I hear my dad cough;
And all the stars dim their lights.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Words now are feeble and strained as I try
To condense my decades of splendour you'd sprung
To metres and rhymes that hardly comply,
Now in this moment of one final flash
That is torn between agony and joy.

So how might I voice
The tears you had driven
Or fears you had pulled
And how with your stance
My heart would just prance
And leap beyond doldrums of failure and stress
To a world that is painted with mountaineous strength
Shining with beams that have lifted from dark
Billions of palpitating hearts.

Guidance in darkness and solace in grief
You sprinkled your gems on our dim-dying days
Which have throbbed with your strokes ever since.

Even as the minutest flower that breathes
Wonders of fragrance to the sunshine in morn
Read, if you care, these verses of mine
Offered in gratitude and reverence without end.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Here among columns of unseasonal rain
That hurtle through fields beneath kohl-stained clouds,
I've whispered our tales to leaves that are drenched
With moisture of tears unaddressed.
Plots that had seemed full of solace and shades
Have wound into debris of sharp, sullen rocks
That leave our soles black and red.
Back in the twilight of chrysanthemum days
With blossoms that had showered
And covered our ways,
Our eyes never measured these uncertain times
Where hyenas and foxes now hold their sway
With instincts of jungles as law.

Borne along waves full of dream-laden pearls,
We are stranded and lost amid seedless old rocks
That scorch our soles black and red.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Stopped in my tracks, by the figure on the glass,
I wonder and stare with anatomic gaze
At a familiar shape but somewhat askew
That breeds within veins new coils of unease
Which wrecks all my networks of neurons in haste.

So I unleash my armory of old scales and tapes
And martial all photographic evidence of self
To puzzle me the name of the stranger in glass
Who gazes with fixated steel in its eyes
That drills all these holes on my sky.

Each time I measure, it shrinks another inch
And pukes a few balls of certificates slimed.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

On a Cat

Arching its back beneath canopy of leaves,
It captures my eyes with the suppleness of silk
Just as was done by a squirrel and a dove
And fuel those dreams of an Ovidian change,
Here beneath asphalted clouds that'll cloak
Saplings in need of their sun.

Wiping my face with dog-tired paws,
I glance at the saucers of milk in my fridge
And musing on doctrines of karma and its breed
Sigh from the cells of my lobes.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

London 2013

I flit through the cities as an embodied ghost,
Here in the shadows of spires kissing stars,
Or along mews still fragrant with fame,
An invisible shadow that sways along waves
And sings with the leaves of Notting Hill or Hyde
That chime with the footfalls of time's studded stars,
Here along banks of Thames and its nymphs
Who dapple my feet with uncertain beats
As I gaze into its depths, unsure and cross
Calculating fractions of ecstasy and loss.

Blown by the gusts that rush through my pores
I stand almost dazed on Westminster pier
And walk towards bridges with Arias in feet
Buoyed, yet conscious of memories of skin
That grope for their roots beyond towers or waves
And sunder my soul to a thousand new bits
Which gather on the wharfs of our time.

Puzzled though I am, I shore them in grace
And search for the patterns of faith which'll smell
Like cardamom and cloves along Bayswater Road
And frame me new constructs of culture and self
That spill beyond squares of immigration forms
And scatter into pixels of sense.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

For Us

Borne in the attrition of steel-drilling rocks
As abrasive pebbles that are utterly askew
We clash in the doldrums of small dried air
And let flow of volcanic ash.

But what better bedrock than granite to sustain
A mansion with decades in its length?

So undaunted still amid sparks that'll fly,
We mine our depths for ores full of gems
And laughing at sugar-syrup blockbuster tales
Give all those dolls a big lie.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I hop skip and leap
In traffic rush at six
And tackle a few shoulders
And chassis en route,
As I wobble to my unwelcome couch.

Drained off of dreams past expiration dates,
I mix up some soup,
Of old 'if's and 'but's
And slip into my answerless 'why's.

Ironed with stains that'll rather now grow,
I fiddle with the stitching that is surely unstuck
And popping a few pills for a stomach rather weak
Scrape for the passport of fate.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


The ministry of beauty is now off my hands
And foregone those wonders of sense.
Smeared by the oozings of unsealable wounds,
The air now is pungent with Hemoglobin smells
And smoke from the bonfire of skin.

Blackened to their core,
My words are on strike,
And locked out my workshop of hope.

Padlocked in times that are raped beyond rage
My sentences cringe amid funereal howls
And gather rather messed on my page.

Thursday, July 11, 2013



Monsoon evening trickles down
With smell of trash from open vats.
Seven O' clock.
Chewed up ends of bony days.
And now a surly breeze will wrap
Plastic sheets around your feet
From broken roofs and fallen tiles
Of grim shacks on barren tracks.
A naked urchin totters by.

And then the engine whistles on.


Morning peeps with uncertain feet
And wafts with the stale smell of urine on walls
In platforms with latrines unclean.
Here among hundreds of feet that are rushed
You stagger into coupes
Full of baskets of fish,
And mouthing your quips
On climates and cost,
Drowse as an old dog at noon.


You disclose your tab
From smooth leather flap
And finger through posts
That are heaped on your walls
With least bit of care
For the tear on your dress
Or for that man
Who bundles down stares
As a rat that has gobbled its cheese.

You finger your hair with humanoid limbs
And blast from your discs the loud latest fad
That drowns all the insistent voices that float
From bleak little rooms where you played.


And all of these fragments of dolor and dross
Now rush into your streets and scatter
Along declining overbridge or tracks,
Remnants of faces that rose strong at dawn
And rotate as splinters of perforated cans
That groan as if skeletons in epileptic fits
With discord of perfected schizophrenic mime.

Step out of the wings and dance.
The world now'll mumble and tumble in dark
And snap all the circuits for fun!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lone Ranger (In memory of Neelkantha Bagchi)

Boxed in the penumbra of mutated weeds
That suddenly are labelled as banyans and oaks,
I search for a branch in the clear light of day
From where I may sing now my lore.

Left without axes or saws rather sharp,
I falter and waver and try but in vain
To unleash those squadrons of thunders I dreamed.

So I seethe as if grilled by lightnings unseen
And harvest that poison of time in my limbs
As I churn its seas for one final cleanse
That'll restore our gardens unspoilt.

[According to Indian mythology the god Shiva would drink the poison derived from the churning of the seas which would eventually yield the elixir of life. The poison turned his throat blue. Hence his other name is Neelkantha, the one with a blue throat]

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Circled by slingshots of lamda and pie,
I'm swayed by the vectors of contempt and lie
That emplot my self within Eulerian graphs,
With constant of doing-what-I -hate.

Such are the prices of growth they'd said
And I am all sold-out of late.

So how did old Tom spend hours in his bank,
And dredge through his wasteland of self?
But I can't risk spells in the asylum or church
To sustain my fabrics of neurons in stress
And count little rosaries in train.

So battered by the brickbats of turbine and torque
I call to my aid dear Auden or Donne
And hew their jargons with dictions of self
For symmetry of semiologic shields.

Patched up with armours of allusion and trope,
I dance among circuits and unwanted chips
And practice with phantoms of hope.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sighs and Wings

In the stillness of dawn, to sighs I've asked
Their lineage and destiny untold.
Flitting among shelves full of papers and books
They've whispered me tales full of petals now torn
Amid debris of silence that piles along walls
Or cleaves our bedsheets with barbed wire lines
In these our dawns full migraine and cough,
With concern now caught in its bluff.

Foreclosed with too many of dues still unpaid,
We scrape for the ounces of trust that'll loan
Perhaps a few bonds to us still.
Jumbled in fractions of aggregated dross,
We gasp among compounded interests of loss,
As idiots in ponzies of heart.

Spanning over ebbtide of dark deeper night,
Unbroken wings of cranes soar in flight.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Same Old Stuff

My confounded muse can hardly explain,
How each mere sight will unleash those lines
That swim from the depths of my soul.

Rhymes that were absent for weeks shuttle back
And swing into new shapes and cling to her curls
With music that chimes with her smile.

So I conspire with time and implore with wind
To extend her stay in my sight; as seconds
Move on minutes and minutes to new hours
That whiplash my soul into shapes that are wrought
By agonies of unfulfilled hope.

Knowing none of this, she smiles and then leaves
Trailing my heart in her heels.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I'd rather be the tinges of light on her lips
Than spend our hours thus far.

Even as nectar that drips along stem,
In days that are drunk full of spring,
So would I cling as striplings of light
And flicker on her curves with abandon and zeal
With ecstasy of surrealist thrill.

Or would I tangle in truant little locks
And swing by with grace her forehead and cheeks
Which beckon as if shores to a sailor now lost
With songs that'll gallop through your veins.

Or would I dangle as rubies in ears
That dazzle my eyes among hot summer waves
And glow as if lighthouse in dark brooding storm
With light that'll shine through my nights.

These be the fond little hopes of a heart
That seals itself tight with professional keys
And speaks nothing more than is must.
Bound by the fishnets of duties and don'ts,
The artisan of words now discards his ware
And engraves his lot to an adoration blessed,
Distant and silent at once.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


She stormed through my days,
Full of parched breath of March
With torrential timbrels of soul.
Roofed by the fresh-ripened dark bosom clouds,
I bask in the brushstrokes of diluted gold
And tune up my flute to her laughter that rings
As blusters of gales through these reeds.

Shorn of my calculated playthings on stage,
I spread myself wide, as an arid brown land,
That longs for her fingers to rain on those beds,
Where green little poems shall embody and sprout
With symphony of forests evergreen.

Shaken and stirred as palms amid storms
I gather my leaves in an evening now stilled
And wait for the lightnings of smile that'll strike,
And sparkle my nights full of flames.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Martyrs (In memory of a student killed in police custody)

From the start-studded branch full in bloom,
It falls among ensanguined waves that have borne
Too many of fresh-fallen gems.

Packed now with fragments of petals amid rush
My streets, they have moulded a lost autumn-look,
With nooks full of red fallen leaves.

These will no longer just sodden lie;
But flown atop waves full of much-needed rage
Will harden as crystallized shells that'll blow
And crash their towers of ivory and glass
With roars that'll singe sullen shores.

Even as throned powers revel now or gloat,
Petals and leaves do murmur in gloom
And plot their eventual doom.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


She seemed as if drawn by Raphaelite hands
With brows full of Egyptian grace.
And I the fond fool that has tripped in her wake
With stale little lines for her sake.

But how else to now face the surge in my veins
If not in verse I express?

Had I been a painter, I sure would've snapped
And etched a whole series to her self.
Or with an adoration fate too had shown,
Would fondle and mould, with clay her new form,
As if a new deity was born.

Stunned by the quicksilver glint in her eyes,
I lengthen my dream amid short little sighs
And hope she'll enjoy these antics perchance---
She who is worship and worshipped at once.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

False Notes

I've longed for a morning of quiet such as this
When ears that are rattled by jangling of trains
Are calmed by the warbles of birds.

And now as I bask in the sunlight on steps,
With eyes full of trees blooming bright,
From corners of gaze leak shadows I've known
And act out in rooms, the scenes I've played
With costumes I knew not I had.

And even as I marshal my tools rather fast,
To build up my fence or cote, flat or fold
They leap over walls as masterless horse
And stride towards unforeseen fields.

Left without harness or halters that fit,
I'm stunned by the prospect of plays that'll come
And burn all my scripts up in flames.

The morning now shrieks with discordant hoots
As a blind owl gropes for its nest.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Meteors of Joy

She had looked rather neat, in bright tee and jeans
While waving and smiling goodbye.

And I just couldn't guess, the rapids that had hid
And gushed in her locks and bounced over unyielding rocks.
Nor could I measure the clouds she had probed
While she had flown from her cliffs.

Floored by the dimples that played on her cheeks,
I lost track of tempests her eyes had unleashed
When she had thundered her wheels along tracks
That bent to her unbending will.

But I who can master all forces in verse,
Have neither such gumption nor zeal,
As beautifying odes are shorter than heels
And wit always cheaper than gold.

Hence I'll write her in verse full of care
And list her with those other muses now gone
That twinkle in corners of mind full of clouds
And shoot supple meteors of joy.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Hyderabad blasts

Morning has flashed a new pile full of limbs
That gawk at with unnatural stare.

Often I've faced such images and more
That singe our eyes and leave us as mad,
In these our carnivorous days.
Topspun with fingers that tear through the seams,
I've sunk as if loadstone in pool full of mud
With no sign of divers in sight.

How to now drag our selves to those banks
That fade beyond cognizable ramparts of faith?

Tottering with feet that've lost their soles
I've stumbled on sharp little shingles that pierce
And tear up my nails to their bits.

Trudging along lanes where explosions lurk
I'm startled by faces of those who are blown
And mourn the more nameless that wait.

Punctuated now with funereal smoke,
We breathe our sighs among ash-smeared days
That ooze out with tears smelling blood.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


They've misread my words for years now my dear,
And exchanged my face for a mask.
So I juggle through my roles and lie through my ears
And stage others' stories till dark.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Butterfly Dreams

The cerulean sky has oozed in her eyes
With sunshine of winter unfurled.

And even as I bask in the shimmers of her gaze
I'm caught in the tangles of glowing copper locks
That ensnare my dream-dappled heart.

My truant eyes curl on stripes of her coat
And glide towards buttons full of mesmerized hope
And latch onto that necklace with despairing claws
As a drowner would cling to his straws.

Here among days full of academic bore
Such be the visions that'll shine through my nights
Even as I shiver to my bones.

And even as I lapse into familiar fuss,
With veins being stilled as if stoned,
These summer wonders will streak through my dark
With blossoms that'll sprout through the rocks.

Braced for the whiplash of shame through my days
I save through these words the petals that'll rain
And change our pebbles into cotton-flower clouds
That float beyond deadline and deals to a home
Where bluebirds and butterflies roam.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

For Salman Rushdie: An Elegy from Kolkata

[This poem has a specific context. Rushdie was not allowed to enter my city for inexplicable religious and political reasons. Something that goes against our history and heritage. This is my response to that. I hope the poem stands on its own. But knowing Rushdie's novels, even the titles, certainly helps.]

Saleem will not dream in my city tonight.

Throttled and gagged, the angel that swings
And lovingly looks on from alabaster dome,
Ribbons her face with tar-dyed tapes
And sobs with the Ganges all night.

We had throbbed along expanding bridges through the land
And dipped the whole world in our cups.
Renoir and Bunuel had supped with our Ray
And Teresa was made our own.
And even as Rabindranath turned the world home,
We lounged in our cafes full of Da Vinci and Donne
With Gorky and Lorca in tow.

This was the soil on which we had grown
And flowed free with rivers to the seas.

But now our windows are slammed tight shut,
With streets full of hooded little men.
Scared of the sky full of galaxy of stars
They turn their eyes to petty little holes
And shake their fists full of rage.

Puzzled we now wonder and rattle our chains
And wait for a sigh from Florence to entrance
And lead us to a light through our shame.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Angles of bones from deep within pits
Question this air full of burnt rubber smoke
And chart the new numbers of corpses unclaimed
That spittle my districts in red.

Quietly I walk, but look back with fear
And wonder whose turn is this day to be shot.

Hamlets that rang with melodies of birds
Or fields that had ripened with golden-green songs
Are pale now with mouths full of ash.

The veritable dance of democratic farce
Is cymballed with howlings of orphans in vain
In a land that has lost all its shame.

Oft have I thought of marching on streets
With candles or banners unfurled.
But fearful of causes too distant from mine,
Have left all my anguish unsaid.

So how should I find a new roof that'll house
All of our voices in sync?

Rattled still I type among gunshots at noon
And puzzle over souffles and mousse.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Girl Clad in Red

There's something to be said, for a girl clad in red.

Suddenly my world full of pedestrian mire
My restless old soul full of uncertain ware
And hardened old pigments on palettes rather stale ---
All of them all - stand blemishless and free
And float through a world of violins and flute
For an orchard of symphony unheard.

And even though I lack a name, place or mail,
Still we are in for a long spell of thrill
As sure I'll have that same little chat
Daily as I wait for a busride at ten
With memories of moments that loop through my gaze
And kindle my dreams all aflame.

So even as I jostle with sweat, mud and grime
Her eyes look and smile and make my heart chime.