Sunday, May 16, 2010

At sleepy dawn

At sleepy dawn, the sky is still joined to the sea.
In the muted light, it slowly rises,
It’s every bump and curve imprinted lovingly on the water below.
Mirroring, reassuring- presenting the perfect picture of harmony in the day.
At dusk, Venus is blatant in her flirting and twinkling-
She waits impatiently,
To be whisked away into the sun’s fiery orange bedroom.
Outside, the hairy bikers descend at the weekend-
About ten thousand or more,
Blast their way through serene towns and villages.
The cyclists, however, keep up the strenuous pedalling,
They appear at one with their simple contraptions
In their alien, tubular outfits,
They hurtle down the other way.
The jagged rocks on the cliff face glare like petrified ghouls,
Hollowed out, and a deep red.
Over which, a teenage boy chose to climb- French, with flip flops on his feet
We see him fall from about ten metres,
We were sure he'd broken a bone or two.
Winded, he lay, accepting a sip of our water.
Our feet tingle down the loose gravel, at the scene just witnessed.
Even the turquoise pool with its smooth pebbles and fanning algae
Seems dangerous and makes my head whirl.
We’ve reached Sa Foradada, the rock with a gaping hole
Where incredibly there is a cafe that serves delicious cake
And cafe con leche.
“How is he?” We asked the family, as we headed up from the tranquil sea,
“Getting wiser,” said the father, a doctor, “Slowly,” said the sister.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

House of flying alarm bells

The beeps start going off from around 7 a.m,
the reminders gentle and musical but also firm
The calls to awake last for about 5 or 10 seconds
Urging politely in half hour intervals
Neither a symphony nor a cacophony
This is the house of flying alarm bells-
just plaintive whimpers in thin air.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I realise I was meant to glide through life like an elegant swan-
To touch the world I encountered with my graceful abundance.
My destiny was foretold, foreseen, and all but decided,
When the horoscopes matched and I got dispatched.

My inner swan was really a bumbling duck,
It is a bit daft, quite clueless and knows not how to glide.
It follows a straight line, very often in the wrong direction.
What could possibly be wrong with swilling around in this little pond?

Of course, my feathers get ruffled ever so often,
I get all upset, hot and bothered-
A hug, a romantic film or some cake can pacify me.
Which means I remain slightly puffed out, and a bit daffy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mohini Pisasu

I rest, languid, on the neem tree
My sari matches the near white light
That shines through the fluorescent leaves,
As the pleading prayers go on below.

To the King Cobra that guards me from his anthill
Come and drink this milk they say.
Appease her spirit, they pray
I am appeased, I suppose.

Its noon and its too hot to be on the prowl
Your daughter’s safe, for now.
I look beyond, into the cavernous depths
Of the well I chose not to fall into.

I see her at night at her window, unable to rest-
The young, eager, restless thing.
Yearning, longing, pining, anxiously looking
For a dream lover to slake her thirst.

Till I appeared in eerie splendour
Poor little princess.
So petrified, yet so sweet
She lies in shock screaming for her mother.

They came to see her the next day
Greedy eyes, salivating smiles
The local princess.
Oh weren't they so fortunate.

But, those cheeks had lost their fresh bloom
Her fish-shaped eyes looked dead they said
She looked as if a ghost had thrashed her
They stayed a while, but soon left.

I too screamed silently night after night
The shame, the agony,
My wasted youth, my wasted life
Wrung out of my pretty neck.

Only then did they take notice
The husband cuckolded
His brother drunk but sated.
Their shame, their pain- all hushed up.

The story that never came out
They may be poor, but they were respectable.
Now, in between death and reincarnation
I command respect in my ghostly existence.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A breather

I sit down, for my ten minutes to stare
To exhale, to inhale, to recall what it means to breathe.
Like those perfect pictures on the computer,
The glossy photo that my mind's captured is crystal clear.
The lush leaves are a still green
As still as the air that’s also stopped to take a breath.
The chameleon is resting on the branch frozen,
Gulping meaningfully, turning from green to brownish red.
It's sliver of a pink tongue pops in and out,
What is its true nature?
Just boringly passive or deeply lascivious?
Butterflies flit inconspicuously
Sipping elegantly at pink liqueur
With the mildest of flutters, they move around the Ixora
From one perfect posy to the other.
The fragrance of the different jasmine reaches me gently
From the fat buds in the shrubs
And from the slim delicate blooms over the creepers
Their scents sharp, delicate and heavy
Makes me quite heady at this instant state of bliss.
The forest bird hidden high in the trees calls out,
Pleading to be heard and then appears
Flying low against an oppressive dull sky.
Those leaves meanwhile are still held in suspense
Any minute I expect background music
And the hushed tones of David Attenborough,
Talking about nature's own soap opera.
Then, from somewhere
Buzzing ever so quietly,
A dozen dragonflies appear above the wall
Suspended, portentous,
I look, and am compelled to receive a subliminal message
I acknowledge, accept, my ten minutes are up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Soft cheeks no more

I look at his baby face
Its not the same space
That I could smother with kisses
Always to excess.
I still go near
To the one so dear
And look for that lovely softness.
To press against, to breathe in
and to revel.
Alas, those cheeks have had a makeover
Two go's with the razor
I look for a tiny nook
But, I fear, a layer of sandpaper
is soon about to take over.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ten random words

"Its the principle of it," she said, upset at the paltry effort.
"Where is the mango-blossom?" she yelled. They were still at home, not having left for the wedding hall. It was a sign of good luck to have it hung outside the door.
"No, not there," she cried, her temper rising, her energy dissipating. She saw her young niece and called her over, "You're free aren't you?" She asked her to fetch her lavender oil to soothe her nerves. She was feeling faint. Just then, the doorbell went. All she could see was a huge basket of multi-coloured roses. In an instant, her face was transformed and she was transported to dizzy heights of happiness when she read the card, "To the mother of the bride", from your son-in-law to be.