Saturday, June 28, 2008

Phantasma

With eyes closed, she reclined on the futon.
It was the darkest night of monsoon,
The downpour wore a dark disguise,
As it descended from the sinister skies.

Her legs were stretched out
And it rested on the nearby ottoman.
She kept a hand over her head
While the other had her mod jukebox.

Lost in the world of keys and strings,
She was under the spell of harmony.
Ears plugged to the gizmo that crooned to her command,
She was no more in the world she lived in.

The thunder growled and the lightning whacked,
Seldom did she pay heed to that delicate clamor;
She was now in a realm of her own,
Living every phase that had slipped through her fist.

Now her favourite tune began,
She sensed a tingle at her feet;
As a pair of lips kissed her under sole,
She surrendered herself to that corporeal feel.

The tune played on, the invasion carried forth.
Her lips turned dry and the thirst took over.
Wringing the upholstery, she perched on the couch.
She shut her eyes tight and clenched her fist.

She could feel the warmth all over her.
Submissive was she, as this continued,
The cold rain poured inside out,
She lost control and her dominion was conquered.

Slowly the lips reached hers and kissed a coy smile,
Beaming with bliss she opened her eyes.
Confronted with darkness she was startled for a while.
Rubbing her sleepy eyes she peered into the night.

The tune faded slowly as she came back to life.
Once again she smiled, but this time, with bitter tears.
Thinking to herself that the ghosts of the past never leave,
Playing the same tune all over again, she reclined closing her eyes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Puttu's Weekend

The world followed him whichever way he went;
He sat behind with his back facing dad’s back.
He loved to go on rides this way almost everyday,
On the pillion of dad’s scooter
But turned around towards the road he sat.

Trees waved at him goodbye,
He sped away but they were all left way behind.
People walked backwards and glanced at him in awe.
He tried counting the white lines that were strewn orderly on the road,
As their scooter zipped ahead.

Clouds stood still looking down at him amazed,
Birds tried to catch up with him but they just couldn’t.
He made noises of the roaring engine and a cacophonic horn,
As if he was driving a big truck, he frequently changed its imaginary gears.
And maneuvered skillfully holding onto the spare wheel at the scooter’s rear;

The road looked never ending and he wished they’d never stop.
He had no clue where dad was taking him this time,
He’d put a million questions but none got a satisfying reply.
Surprise was one thing which Puttu disliked as it made him look bewildered,
But the ride was so enjoyable that he really didn’t bother.

Just then the scooter came to a screeching halt
Right next to a tall compound wall.
He slid behind and gently fell on his dad’s back.
Suddenly, he looked up as he heard a familiar noise,
And his hope filled, big smile returned as a plane flew lowly over his head.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

U 2?

I don’t feel so good today;
Feels like this is just not my day.
I know this isn’t the right way to start.
Can’t really think of what’s wrong,
Could you spare a moment and walk along?

Perhaps, you have better things to do.
Something more important to look into;
Someone to meet or someone to call and speak to
Or an appointment you have to reschedule.
I appreciate you taking time off and hanging around.

I’m in no mood to rhyme.
And I guess I don’t really want to complain.
Now did that rhyme?
Hmmm never mind, this seriously sounds strange.
Cos I’m feeling totally deranged;

The radio croons loudly in the background,
Yet I hardly pay heed to the words.
The beats seem to sync in with my pulse,
And some times they seem to go off beat.
Trust me I’m just scribbling this in a daze.

It’s this restless feeling in the mind,
When you think that the world looks perfect
But still something doesn’t seem alright.
You want to go to someplace else,
But you still don’t even want to move an inch.

Ah! Walk this way, we’re somewhere there,
I guess I can figure this out. Now, let me tell you.
This is that lost feeling which I was wondering about.
I don’t experience this more often,
That’s the reason I tend to forget.

Once in a while I feel there’s nothing to worry about,
And I am sinking deep in my comfort zone.
There’s nothing much to keep me on my toes.
It’s this regretful feeling of having no regrets.
Now I’m not surprised if you say, at times, you too, feel the same.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Soar

Sitting on the roof top he stared and stared at the skies
Wearing a pale face with eager eyes:

Like always it looked like he was sculpting the sky,
With his imagination he chiseled the clouds skillfully.

But that wasn’t what he was up to this time,
Though that had been his favourite pastime.

Clouds, birds, kites and dragonflies,
Nothing amused him and his wait continued patiently.

Now his neck was aching so he just looked down,
Saw his dad taking the routine walk, up and down the porch.

In a moment he was down, standing right next to dad,
Looking down at him, “What’s wrong?” Dad squatted and asked.

Puttu said “It’s been sometime dad, since I looked up and smiled.
Since a few days there’s not a single aero plane in sight”.

Dad said “That’s the reason I say read the newspaper everyday.
Cultivate this good habit in your younger days”

“They’ve all moved to distant skies after they built the new airport.
I doubt you’ll see them more often like you used to before.”

A big frown surfaced on Puttu’s face
And tears welled in his innocent eyes.

Dad looked surprised and questioned
“But why should that keep you from smiling?”

“I’ll tell you a little secret if you promise to keep it to yourself.”
Saying this Puttu stretched his open palm towards father.

Dad clasped his hand and said “Ok son. Go ahead”
And lifted him up and put him on his shoulders.

Pointing at the sky the lil lad began to explain,
Dad listened patiently as he carried Puttu to the terrace.

”Whenever I see a plane Dad, I look up to it and smile,
No matter how I am feeling it makes me feel good from inside.”

“It instills in me a deep sense of hope
That one day, over the clouds real high, I will also soar”.

Dad didn’t know what to say, he looked up to his son this time.
And promised him a trip to the new airport over the weekend.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

eclipse

Beneath the scorching sun she stood persistently,
Pearly sweat dripping down her forehead,
It died as it disappeared into the soil sporadically.

Wearing a red top with polka dots and white shorts;
She stood on the lawn folding her hands,
After she had a small quarrel with mom.

People passing by looked at her in wonder;
Nobody had a clue what she was up to;
A few questioned but no one got an answer.

Her friends interrupted but she didn’t really care,
Some pushed her around yet she wasn’t scared.
She stared into the sun, with her hands stroking her hair.

The face-off between the lil angel and the sun,
Went on till evening, starting from mid noon.
She’d even skipped lunch, still she didn’t complain.

Just then came her neighbour Carey, her little best friend.
Looking at her, he giggled and said
”Don’t do that Gwen, you’ll turn dark. Just the way I am”.

Hearing this Gwen glowed with happiness and ran to him.
” How I wish it happens Carey. That’s why I’m standing here all set to tan.
At least then, mom won’t mind your company cos we both will look the same.”

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What’s in a name?

Does it surprise you? As to how we have to live
With a few choices we haven’t really made.
We’ll have to bear it, all through our life.
For instance, I’d say, our very own name.

Some were passed down through ancestors,
With a Roman numerical accompanying them.
Or, suffixed with a Jr.,
As folks didn’t want to opt for another name.

A few were given a thought for days together.
While some were named in that spur of a moment.
Seldom did one get to choose their name.
Yet they always had an option to change.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet." wrote Shakespeare.
Little did he know that someday, indispensable, he’d become.
And the world would look up to him and swear by his name.

It’s really strange how, not many realize,
Behind every name there’s a reason, there’s a purpose.
One day you’ll know it, until then you got to wait,
That’s when you’ll know your mission, and the destiny that awaits.

“Names, once they are in common use,
Quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried,
like so many of the earth's marvels,
beneath the dust of habit” - Salman Rushdie

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ammamma, Puttu and the Summer Rain

Puttu and grandma sat together,
In the backyard discussing the current affairs.
Not of the nations or the dirty politics in it,
Nothing to do with nuclear warfare or even world peace.

He told her to make cookies,
which she made for last Christmas.
And his favourite combo: chutney and crispy dosas
For the next day’s breakfast.

She told him stories from her childhood,
How they used to climb trees and make sand castles.
Biting into fruits straight from the trees,
And tasting wild honey that dripped from the bee hives;

Getting wet in the rain and going down the big stone slide,
Kicking clouds as they swayed to and fro on the swing.
Shooting down mangoes, guavas and tamarind with a catapult;
Picking sweet-scented flowers from creepers and shrubs.

How they played Hide and seek from sunup to sundown,
And how they ran for cover while playing Seven tiles.
Football and Kabaddi was a big no no for her.
Only watched her brothers and neighbours play and kept score.

Puttu’s face glowed with amazement;
Sitting beside grandma on the doorstep.
He gawked with wide open eyes, at times, in disbelief.
Chuckled and cheered as she almost enacted every episode.

As they spoke he heard the delicate thunder,
’Ammamma’ he said, ‘let’s make boats in paper’.
She concurred and got some old newspaper;
Folding them one by one they prepared the fleet to set sail.

Splitter, splatter the rain drops crashed one after another.
It began to drizzle and Puttu ran into the rain.
She yelled “Don’t do that Puttu you’ll catch cold and fever”
Granny rushed back in and got the umbrella, in time.

Unfurling the umbrella she rushed to catch the lil devil,
He was caught in not time, she dragged him into shelter.
He pleaded with a fake frown and down came the crocodile tears,
”Amma please, just once. After all it’s summer”.

Her heart melted and she just couldn’t say no.
Closed her eyes, smiled and gave a nod.
He pulled her along too and she gave him company.
Holding each other’s hands they looked up merrily.

Puttu said “Aah, the rain tastes so nice, isn’t it?”
Granny smirked and whispered in his ears in disagreement
”Not really, let’s move to the shade and watch the paper boats sail”.
And Puttu asked “Why Ammamma?
Don’t they make the rain like they used to before?”

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sentinels' Message


I see that old army of mountains,
Standing guard at the horizon,
Some grown older and taller over the years;
With white heads they stand up looking down at the earth,
Making conversations with the gypsy clouds that wander.

Some clouds rest over their shoulders,
Giving them messages sent by their long lost brothers,
Who dwell in the other distant lands.
Taking down greetings and replies in return,
They roll them up into scrolls of thunderbolts as the peaks’ whisper.

Reading out news from lands far away,
About the distant landscapes
They hovered around while coming this way;
And telling tales that prevail there
Of nations and their battles that looked trivial from up there.

The powerful winds rushed against them
But seldom did they budge or tremble.
Without faltering or even moving a single inch,
Upright they stood, staring straight
Into the swirling ice storm’s eye.

The wind whistled mischievously and at times howled.
Going around them in circles on and on.
Teasing them slyly and striking them cruelly, they circled
With an impression they’ll turnaround and retreat.
But little did they know those sentinels won’t even retort.

For they stood unyielding with their feet set on the ground.
Yet they reached high and the limit was the sky.
Perhaps, they had a silent message to convey,
When you stand firm in faith,
You’ll scale heights and there’s no reason you’d fail.