Friday, July 31, 2009


Did I open that bottle?

And did you break it to pieces? after it was empty of course.

It always was empty you just didnt see

the reflections 

that fell on your eyes blinding you

Did I write last night?

Did you rip apart the pages, erase the words? after they were spoken.

They were drowned in yesterday's loud rain 

run over on the empty streets

that you drove to find me

Did I have the same dream?

Did you sing through my reality? after the myth was shattered.

you always knew the whispers were loud 

the pieces too many

for you to fix and make  whole

Say I did it.

Say I did not.

Say I did it.

Say I did it all.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


If I write this poem,
Will you wonder what it means?
Will you peel away layers?
Or read between lines,
Or shine the light,
Of what was said,
On what was left unsaid?

It could be about you,
Or it could be a fabrication;
a meaningless invention.

See, sometimes I imagine myself,
In a relationship,
In a situation,
In some future hell,

(Or heaven for that matter).

Sometimes I dream:
I am in love,
I am in hate,
I am in lust.
I am distraught.

If I write about being distraught,
It could be a dark vision,
Or Cassandra-like thought
Of dire consequences;

But would it make you-
Pick up the phone,
Call me,

Would you believe,
it stems from a truant imagination,
that it’s nothing more than lurid fiction?

Where the protagonist is me
But the antagonist is never you?


Unfortunately the site that was hosting the images that gave our blog the elegant look that we all loved has been shut down. We are on the lookout for a better design but have chosen the one you see now for the interim.


Monday, January 05, 2009


You can see them most evenings in the park,
Muffled and sweatered against the chill –
Or weathers decreed by peremptory wives.
The woollens, the odd walking stick mark
Them down as no terminal sentence will
As they shuffle through the tail ends of lives.

Perched or huddled like diffident crows,
You’ll find them in knots of threes or fours,
Bound by the final unuttered fear –
Which, despite their squawky petulance, shows
In the eyes of these superannuated bores.
You sense something wrong here.

Or at least curious. For given their ages,
There can’t be much more to anticipate
Than a quiet release of valedictory breath,
The desideratum of sages.
Yet not for these, for whom the killing weight
Of dread must leave little indeed for death.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Just finished reading Salman Rushdie's "The Enchantress of Florence" and towards the end this is this passage which I find very relevant to India today.

Emperor Akbar is evacuating Fatehpur Sikhri as the lake has dried up and these words are his musings:

The future would not be what he (Akbar) hoped for, but a dry hostile antagonistic place where people would survive as best as they could and hate their neighbours and smash their places of worship and kill one another once again in the renewed heat of the great quarrel he had sought to end for ever, the quarrel over God. In the future it was harshness, not civilization, that would rule.


Why didn't I realize that your silence
was not an accident but a result of my failure?
Words have been the cause -
'Cannot stay', 'no future', these once spoken
You took without protest. The unspoken, you used with deliberation;
They dripped bleeding questions
On gaping scars.

It is no big deal to live without
warmth and hugs, even Wills and Reserva
That tear apart memories and make one wonder
if they were imagined.

Strange to think that once addictive substances
are so easy to wean from, including your words
Once offered as promises. Easier still to think
All was a deception from the beginning.

Frightening to know this pattern for what it is,
in others silence and my own

Answer being a departure.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Jahanpana, Sahenshah Bahadur Shah Zafar,
Saw dust over the Bridge of Boats, afar,
Standing on the ramparts of the Red Fort,
With wives, courtiers, and consort.

His heart filled with despair and hope,
A mixed feeling he couldn’t cope,
His Hindustan will after all be free,
From the White Man’s sword, and decree.

To feed them where will he bring money?
Thomas Metcalfe refuses to give him any,
His powers are naught and so is his court,
Should he fight or befriend as they cross the moat.

No, he’s not a soldier fighting a war,
He’s a Sufi poet running beads of prayer,
Though martial blood runs in his veins,
For Timur’s cruelty he has much disdain.

He squandered wealth and kingdom lost,
To wine, poetry, blandishments and lust,
Too many late nights of poetry and pretence,
Had left a debt he couldn’t recompense.

Away to his chamber that night he went,
After a message to mutinous armies sent,
You are welcome if you come in peace,
Do not disturb our graces, or, our poetry disgrace.

But the mutinous army being common men,
Looted, pillaged and set on fire, and then,
Said to Jahanpanah, “Where’s all your wealth,
For us to liberate and live in comfort and health?”

To this Jahanpanah murmured a few words,
I will go to Mecca; send you to British swords,
I am too old and tired for this war you create,
Therefore to Nizamuddin shrine will I retreat.

“Call me coward, what you will, man,
But I am no traitor like Asanullah Khan,
My wife Zinat Mahal, or, Mohammed Baqar,
They will rot in their graves, those gaddar.”

“I have only done what a poet would have done,
Protected my people, poetry, wives, and son,
It’s greedy men who covet, steal, and fight,
I am but a bard; and poetry is my birthright.”


Jahanpanah - ruler of the world
Shahenshah – king of kings
Gaddar - traitor
Asanullah Khan – Zafar’s prime minister
Zinat Mahal – Zafar’s wife
Mohammed Baqar – chronicler and editor of Delhi Urdu Akhbar

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Not knowing what brought me here –
certainly no wayward vicissitude of tide –
and not affirming or denying
the course he maps with the clear
authority of the sibyl, I bide
the familiar litany of prophesying.

Detachment comes easy to you, he says,
scanning the palm leaf. And age
will see you recede further
from the points of life, each phase
revealing the hidden stillness of the sage.
The final you will be someone other.

Perhaps. Except that I’ve always been that.
Never quite what was required to be,
or knowing even that presumed state,
the kind that the assured point at
(short of sainthood) with such certainty.
Someone else, somewhat there, approximate.


Monday, April 21, 2008


Not sure of a terminal ‘e’
I type it in on a whim, and there
It is on a wikimap, neatly boxed in a square.
I pan the image expectantly.

The blanks surprise me, for the years
Have seemingly left those grounds
Untouched, all mottled greens and browns
Dotted with a few familiars.

I pick them off one by one. First,
The garrison church. All Saints, or so
It says, although at five I didn’t know
It, being still unversed

In such things. A vague derelict, a bit
Of a halfway point to school and back.
A blur of blotched grey and black
Is all I remember of it.

East of it the Barracks, another pile.
Abode of one who fancied my arm
And left her teeth marks like a charm.
A fleet of summer, verandah and tile.

Below, the dense blocks of the MH loom,
Slightly ominous, commanding the grid.
And somewhere amid
Other frames, beyond the mouse’s zoom

Must lie a home, now doubtless blent
With ghosts and such like, and air.
Barely recalled or loved, but where
A childhood, as someone said, was ‘unspent.’


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The first time was surely enchantment –
or perhaps witchcraft, given the spell
he cast on himself. The pool stretched taut
in timeless stillness, as he bent
over the glazed perfection for which he fell.
That at any rate was how the myth was wrought.

It endured, and certainly (it must be admitted)
longer than the subject’s startled self-love.
The latter was ephemeral at best,
an infatuation: by definition unrequited,
since the image could not rise above
the limbo of that watery palimpsest.

Inevitably, the first wavers of doubt
rippled through his mind. He grew wan,
distrait, a shade walking through a curse,
given to hearing voices when he was out.
He sat down: a droop of brooding bone,
eyes sunk in holes, unseeing in mirrors.