Friday, November 12, 2010

When Chethi and Puttu had a blast

An eraser-head pencil with a broken lead
Rested between a checkered math notebook;
And Puttu sat at his Mom’s old wooden desk,
Which he inherited, along with a broken hinge.


The sharpener looked wasted inside the pencil box’s corner.
He thoroughly enjoyed the break as he gawked out of the window.
The sky shone like a blackboard with vivid chalk dandelions
As rockets exploded and turned the stars little and obscure.


He winced, once in a while, when there was a loud explosion.
A tiny grin sparked on his face as he remembered something.
Just last year he graduated from sparklers, snake tabs and cape guns.
And at Chethi’s backyard waited a mighty celebration the next morning.


A novice he still was with bijili, atom and nitrogen bombs.
He took to his feet after lighting them with an incense stick, extra long.
He stopped only after crossing a milestone or hearing the loud explosion.
But he ran back into the cloud of smoke to break the circle in ascension.


He learnt a few tricks from his Uncles at Ammamma’s place
And of course, the pyrotechnic experts, Chethi and Santosh.
Gradually, he became an expert by the end of that season.
The mile-length distance shrunk, yet he plugged his ears with fingers.


This year, sky high, rocketed his expectations
As Dad had gifted him a jumbo box full of ammo.
The next day he packed his bag and left on his mission.
Escorted by Ammamma to Chethi’s house in a black and yellow auto.


They reached the house at Ranoji Rao Road
And Off went Ramani Aunty and Ammamma on their jabber express.
With sweat on the brows and silver dust on their palms,
Chethi and Puttu emerged at the backyard and off went war’s clarion.


A few bugs and pests (may God bless their souls) involuntarily became martyrs.
And used Torino and Goldspot bottles doubled as rocket launchers.
The red ant and termite hills turned into volcanoes.
Old paint tins flew skywards like oil barrels.


A bed of sand became a minefield
After they planted some bombs here and there.
Some got launched into midair as Puttu lit the fire
And Chethi swept them with a broom, off the terrace.


The backyard lay masked in paper shreds and smoke.
And their hands almost reached the bag’s bottom.
Washing their hands they sat down to take stock
Now all that remained were a box of nitrogen bombs.


Chethi offered him some orange cream biscuits.
They called for ceasefire and took a short break.
Puttu only licked the cream on either sides
And put the biscuits back in the pack, intact.


Finally, they got to bursting the crackers again.
Together, the geniuses came up with an idea for a mega finish.
They wanted to end the battle just the way it began.
They lit an incense stick and tied it to the last bomb’s wick.


They hid the time bomb under an old paint tin
And kept it before their house on the opposite side walk.
They waited for almost an hour behind the green gate, hiding,
To see which scapegoat will have his heart between the teeth.


But alas, it was lunchtime now. Quarter past two.
“Quickly wash your hands” said Aunt, “Eat before the food gets cold.”
Now Ramani Aunty and Ammamma stood right behind them
As their express had stopped midway for some fuel and food.


Halfheartedly the boys sat and food was served.
Hastily they ate to know the time bomb’s fate.
But apparently, till they finished the dessert;
The meal wasn’t complete and they just couldn’t scoot.


Enter Akki Payasa from the kitchen, two bowls full.
Hot, sweet-smelling and sure to leave one asking for more.
A spoonful they both scooped together and blew.
Cooling it down to grab a quick bite and run for the door.


Little did they know, in its taste they'll be lost.
Now with an indulgent smile at each other they looked.
They took the hot bowl in their hand and went for another scoop.
Their shirts relished the rest as the bomb outside went “Boom!”

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

28 Septembers

Stuck in the middle,
At the doorstep.
On one leg
I
stand, thinking;
While the other leg’s busy
Making up its mind,
Which side to take faith’s leap.

They say
maturity comes with age.
Well, I know not wise men;
If you’re reading this,
Try to read my lips,
I’d say
it’s something more apt
for whisky or wine.

To me,
Maturity is attained
Only when you’re
childlike again.
Perhaps,
it’s now.
Or it will be
when I’m gray.

I’ve travelled
28 Septembers so far.
I no longer am
Who I used to be.
And I am yet to become
Who I ought to be.
Now I set my foot forward
For I’m on a journey
To return to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Legend of the Ink Warrior


The first time ever
He graduated from pencil on paper
To the messy ink saber;
Puttu was still a schoolboy, studying in class four.

A favourite pastime back then
Was to splatter ink and play often.
Make several folds till you see a weird pattern.
Mostly, bizarre creatures or some forms from imagination.  

Whales splashed on either side flipping their enormous tails.
Pecking on the same bark sat a pair of Woodpeckers.
Stallions appeared on their two feet, always.  
At every fold the demons got more horns on their heads.

He would spend all the ink and time he got
Folding the page in and out.
Connecting those distant, scattered dots
He framed stories out of patterns and wove his own plots.

He had fun making sense out of mess.
No clue had he of any Rorschach test or butterfly effect.
All he knew was to splash ink and make a few folds.
That very moment his world would unfold.


Many times, it would leave him with an empty ink pot,
Which Dad and Mom, in the beginning thought,
At school, Puttu had to write and write a lot;
Until they found in his bag, last pages of books with inkblots.

That fateful day, by his folks, he was cornered.
Stretching his steel forth, the warrior finally surrendered.
A replacement, from the stationary, he got after an hour.
But now the emperor’s game had to end some way or the other.

He made a few skilful moves.
But he himself wasn’t impressed.
Not even a single drop
From this new rapier, bled;

“What mighty, is a warrior or a sword
that does not even shed a drop of blood?
Oh what a plight has come upon this valiant’s life!”
He thought to himself.

Now he stood there scratching his head
And stared at the godforsaken plastic sword, he clenched.
The new, blue and white ballpoint pen
Had eventually turned this Ink Warrior into a Legend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

amaranthine

The last drop of a drink
That quenches the thirst for a while.
The last piece of jigsaw
That makes the puzzle complete.
The last withered leaf
To kiss the tree’s feet.
The last raindrop
To vanish under the sun's heat.
The last sweep of crumbs
On a plate in between.
The last page on a book
That turned into a paper plane.
The last step to make it across
That finish line.
The last handshake
Before you bid goodbye.
The last kiss you share
Before you part ways.
The last heaves of breath
Before you, finally, leave.
The last fistful of earth
To be emptied into the grave.
The last line of this scribble
That you think is the conclusion.
The last time you might feel
That there’s nothing beyond the end.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Nascency

At the end of month nine,
A miracle rocked slowly
In a cradle beside.
In awe, the infant mother
Slept not a wink that night

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Unknot

I'm untying my shoelace
To slip my old shoes off.
With a tired soul, and a worn out sole,
I'm getting ready to take the faith leap.
At the doorstep of a new beginning,
I'll be dusting off my Achilles' heel.
I'll humbly wait
On the mark for the gun.
I'd be up on my feet
Once the countdown ends;
For a free run of no return.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

hush now.

How strange and vile is this damned silence;
It pushes your imagination
To travel in all directions, four.
Brings your loved ones closer,
By thought.
And finds those memories of lost love
Whether you’ve made an attempt to search or not.
It seems they’re all at your arm’s reach
Though they exist afar.
It makes you wonder
Every other silent second;
If someone is also thinking,
Of you,
Right now.
Toying around
With your brittle faith
As though it’s its voodoo doll.
Hush… Hush… Hush…
Hush...
Hush now.
Don’t say a word or dare to think aloud.
Hold your breath or don’t breathe too hard
You’ll know exactly, what I’m talking about.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

“________________________________”

That sudden silence
between
conversations.
An abrupt minute
between
those hours.
It's when there's
nothing much to exchange.
A void from nowhere breaks in,
And you can almost hear:
The stirring spoon,
The drone of the air conditioning,
The soft clicks
on the keypad
while someone messages
from the table behind,
And the clash of a plate
falling flat on its face
at a distance.

You only then notice:
Your nails need to be clipped,
A spello
on the Cafe's tent card;
The ceiling turns
into a masterpiece,
Which you gaze at,
and admire.
You want to talk some more
yet the topic feels tired,
and it wants to retire.

This silence is like
that last piece of
chocolate chip cookie;
Left, in between,
on a white ceramic plate.
For once,
you want to bite in
and indulge.
But you fear reaching,
For it might just
finish that instant.
While on the other side,
You don’t want to
leave it untouched.
It just tempts you
And yearns for your attention;

You clear your throat,
and utter a word.
Coincidentally,
there’s a word
from the one before you;
Clashing with yours
at the same time.
A demure exchange of smiles.
There’s silence once again.

Now will you reach for the cookie?
Or, will you keep on?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Napkin Notes V

Summer rain, incessant
The spirit waded through knee deep water
Looking fresh and crisp

Summer night heist
Martyr, a loyal lock. Convict, a confederate hammer
Loot, years of sleepless nights

Summer noon. Hot tarmac
Bare feet on the run. Rests on the drenched lawn.
Bodies lie down facing skywards, holding hands

Rainy night.Salad days
An orchid bloomed in its sixteenth summer
Amid the aroma of wet soil, in his company

Summer night. Lost
A bee buzzes around a glass jar of honey
A feast for only its eyes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Napkin Notes IV

Dark Continent. Arid noon
The predators’ fast, the preys’ faster
Pride given up pursuing the herd

In April, a train of clouds
Summered at the horizon
In wait of the next season

In summer, a trail of mountains
Shed their caps and bared their heads
Under the scorching sun

Summer night, satellites scuttle for cover
As the nature’s own shimmers
In all glory over the ocean

Late summer afternoon, outside a school gate
Her squeaky shoes go squeak, squeak, squeak
The lil Angel has the world’s attention at her feet

Monday, April 12, 2010

Napkin Notes III

Late summer night
Clock ticks slowly. Silence awakens
Between each ticking second

A night in April. A crescent smile
Made the sea rise and splash
Cooling down the rocks that sun bathed all day

Summer noon. Sun, right above my head
The shadow hid
Under the shade of my feet

Half past ten. Sunday morning.
The pillow and sheets have her for company
While the world’s left stranded alone

A summer morning realization
Both forced rhyme and fake orgasm is the same
No two can derive satisfaction from them

Friday, April 02, 2010

Crucifix

Dark Friday afternoon, hilltop
Three nails, two wooden planks, a Carpenter
A bridge built to eternal life

Monday, March 22, 2010

Napkin Notes II

Early summer
A 12 year old wine, matured
As it drank from her lips

Rainy night. Alone at a table for two
Juggling fire between her lips and fingers
She sat draped in a veil of smoke

Summer evening, a half content kettle puffed tiny clouds
A cup thirsted for more with some residue
And a spoon lay beside with its head still spinning

One summer noon. Baited and moved
Circled around a see-through enclosure
But not a corner it found to hide in a fish bowl

The summer moon
Rose, walked, ran, danced, stumbled, and fell
As it shone on the wet floor, alone.

Dry afternoon. Parched lips
Tears brim
Thirst unanswered

End of day.Journey's break
Flesh rests
Spirit wanders, aimlessly

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunday

Where do dreams go after they die?
Or do we just conclude that they are dead?
Do they ever die or do they simply lie?
Somewhere deep down, dormant;
Till that one day, when it’s their time.

Would you be prepared,
If they would return;
Welcome them with your
Hand stretched out
For something you once, had to let go.

Some nameless and some mass graves.
Well, how many tombstones
Bear the names of dead and gone.
Yet, not a graveyard for dreams
You would find, out in the open.

Waiting for faith to takeover
And roll the stone over.
They lie in lone tombs that lay hidden within.
The moment you believe
These dreams will rise, yet again.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

napkin notes

Dimly lit evening
Five friends, a camera
A moment of perennial life, frozen

A still night
A cup of Ceylon tea
In a land of unrest

Green roof, cobble stone floor
A filling of conversations and furniture
Winter eve at an outdoor café

A summer in prison
With just one possession
A window full of clear blue sky

Humid noon at home
Counted stars under the ceiling
Lying down but not alone

Tilted heads, locked lips
Between conversations
Lies an awkward silence

At a terrace in twilight
Juggling fire between fingers and lips
She stood draped in a veil of smoke

Friday, February 05, 2010

Babble at the Table

Post noon
The salt and pepper shakers
A match
Made perfect
In concurrence
With every taste bud
Sat as a pair
In silent confab

Late evening
The spoon and the plate
Tried to keep it hush-hush
But made all the noise
Plotting to elope
That night
While the cow
Leaped over the moon

Mid-night
A glass and a bottle
Cheered for each other
Got nostalgic
Wasted wisdom
Emptied their woe
And finished at dawn
With a hangover

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Return

A hiatus ends
And here I am;
Scribbling again.
Not that I had stopped,
I just paused.
But only for a while;
I stood still,
On my toes,
Waiting;
For a moment
To pass.
But realized much before
The moment had gone.
What’s the point?
I just thought,
Let me scribble
As I whirl in the storm.
Gaze into its eye.
Maybe, that’s my way out.
It looks unusually calm
And unlike, what it is
In here.
In the belly of the blizzard.
Blinded without an iris
It twirls without
A set path or map.
I’ll fix my eyes
On that light.
Which isn’t just
The way out.
It is my way up.
Now, another hiatus begins.
This may,
Simply, never end.
And that is
From being dormant.