Saturday, September 25, 2021

On The Verge

Even on very bright days such as these

She looks into an abyss and she sees

Old age and death - inevitable,

 both, and infinitely sad.

You cannot choose. And so you think: 

As long as I'm alive and growing old,

I will see others die, while I remain and grieve.

Survivors have to live with being bereaved.

One more gone and one more gone

And after all these years you miss someone -

What would they have thought of this,

And what would he have said to that?

You dream - a chance of meeting up again?

A dying hope, a deadened wish, a dead end.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Yesterday's Song

 Pieces of sky coming down with the raindrops, 

Clouds form: shining mirrors on the grass. 

They settle down until the sunset's fingers reach down and pull them back up again. 

Shower's over, show is done. Shower's over, Sunday is gone.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

New Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions

Q: What do you do, what do you do?

Me: Um...research. Super specialisation.

Q:  Really!!?? In what? 

Me: Vanaprasthisation. It's a study of volitional and selective withdrawal from society as one of the privileges accorded to those who embrace their own notions of age-appropriate behaviour. The study places these individuals in a utopian setting where no one is pressured into affirming that age is a number. They engage in frequent sessions of S.L.U.M.B.E.R. - supine languor: ultimate metabolism boosting energy recharge.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Fear

Is this the fear that mother felt,
That soldier's widow, keeping up his family's tradition
She reared her only child to join the army one day too

Is this the fear, that little girl whose father's at the front,
"Grandmother, is my Papa staying in your house these days?"

Is this the fear that Mother felt in 1947?
She saw them burn a man alive
A knife and chilli powder at the front door her defence
Her baby daughter sleeping through the August afternoons.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Colour by Memory

Another Holi is over.

As I look at the mixed colours of the flowers outside, I can almost see three little girls, Sonal, Vanita and Gowri, sitting at the edge of the flower bed and drying themselves in the hot sun on another lawn in another time. They seem sad that Holi is over but are already making plans for next year. They'll have more water and colours ready next time to throw at Babloo, Vivian, Vernon, Bobby and Uday.

What a happy thought - next year! Only 364 days to go! Next year they will all be one year older - one year closer to playing the boring Holi that Viji, Rekha, Manju and others go and play at Mamta Sinha's house, playing the dholak and singing songs.

But not as bad as Maiji and Babuji's Holi, all they did was walk around the colony going to each house with the uncles and aunties, carrying dry colour and putting only a little bit of that on each others' foreheads. 

Some doors never opened on Holi.

Maiji's plateful of ellu urundai was kept ready for visitors in the front veranda and next to it there was a plate with packets of red and green colour. Gupta Uncle, Uday's father, wore a starched white dhoti. Aunty, tiny next to him, in a fluffy white saree. Uncle had the second biggest smile - Babuji's was the biggest!

The girls would sit there in the sun until they were called home to have their baths and then eat. They knew that there'd be no more hot water baths allowed after today.
No sweaters needed, either, and best of all, they could switch on the fans in the evening.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

I don't want to be your friend

I don't want to be your friend.

You hate the thing I am, what I was born.

You hate the 'different' and the 'other',

This is what I choose to be:

Follower of my faith, any faith, non-believer.

Meat eater, wheat eater, gin lover, ant eater.

Lover of men/women, life - all living things,

Intolerant, yes  - of intolerance.