Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ForbidEden

Mankind’s quest for greener pastures 
Has seldom ceased, since genesis; 
From the time when the first seed 
of greed was sown by the fallen;
That lured them to sink their teeth 
deep into the forbidden.
To this day as He commanded, 
through painful toil
they eat off the soil.
Cast out and on exile,
they still labour 

to reclaim the lost Eden.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ink

She was 7 when she got back home
from school with ink on her palms;
He smiled and offered her tissues.

She was 21 when they were getting back home
from the parlour with ink on her arm;
She smiled and offered him tissues.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tornado in a Paper Cup


The Sun was just a cm above the brow
When the wheels came to a screeching halt;
Parked, by the highway, and paused to refresh.
Reclined on a jute cot under an asbestos sheet, 
Strewn around were a few foldable chairs by the road;
This solace was just another shack with no nameplate;  
Couple of dented vessels accompanied the gas stove.
A serial of sachets hung from a clothesline behind.  
The steam arose and and the aroma wafted;
For once, the vapour left a tornado’s trail.  
He distilled the perfect concoction into a paper cup.
The sip as it cruised from the cup to the lip,
T’was richer than the armadas of the spice trade.
Cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns, candied  ginger and cloves
Packed a fiver punch in a tea glove.   
Bit by bit as I reached the bottom of the cup
The Sun flung his Earl Grey and sank back into the clouds.

Monday, September 22, 2014

No. 24, Old Mission Compound


From running behind chickens,
Catapulting stones at mangoes and guavas,
Running for cover after lighting the cracker under a tin.
To learning to cycle without the trainer wheels;
There used to be a backyard that witnessed it all.

That trip and fall on all fours,
The bleeding knees and bruised chin;
Just after setting sail the paper boats,
Catching cold in the summer rain.
There was a threshold that played the host for it all.

Helping Ammamma with filling the karjikais.
Pinching the dough slops from the kajaya container.
Rolling the kalkals off the fork’s tines into hot oil.
Tossing rose cookies to the box from oily old newspaper.
There was a smoky kitchen, where for every memory you could find a recipe.

This was Puttu’s much-loved destination, be it Saturday mornings or summer vacation;
Where, under the tiled roof, no textbooks, uniform, or school shoes could ever be seen;
However, now what’s left of it is not what it used to be.
But you could try to spot Puttu trot in and out of No.24, Old Mission Compound,
If you look closely, through these lines.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Oh Captain! My Captain! - An Ode to Robin Williams


Hats, oh so many, he donned.
Shapes, sizes, and shades: a myriad. 
The world lauded, applauded and adored. 
And tossed their hats, in the air. 
Yet he kept all of his on; 
Delighted the world and lightened their weary heads. 
Until those hats piled one atop another.
Perhaps, he felt weighed down
yet he never shrugged.
For all they could hear were his jokes 
and not those unspoken words.
Now, silence echoes and absence prevails.
As he's left the room without opening the door.
And that pile of hats has landed six feet above the floor.