Monday, February 28, 2011

The loyal friend ...

knocked and hit,
battered and bruised;
flipped and flicked,
hassled and hammered;
he is the poet's true companion
since time unknown
and time captured.

Puffy stiff and grey,
dying to call it a day,
yet withstanding the poet’s rage
as he is stuck with a virgin page;
the old, shabby type writer,
still with him as a true cohort
and a fighter.

When the poet was young,
he had let him climb on his shoulder
and allowed him to play, tease
and scribble.
On the poet’s wedding day,
he has produced the greatest love notes
about a joyous cloud and a drizzle.

often, with patience he has watched
the poet's stare and dull despair,
But now, no more with ease
the fatigued keys would yield,
as the words get wan and fractured;
now, both tease each other about their
receding hair line and vision blurred.

Poor old machine,
tried and trusted friend;
time proceeds
the poet, proud with
advancement and technology's ascend;
has no courage to face him,
the type writer waits in an old attic.

so for all the million words that are tapped
a rhyme or two is better rapped
in his memory of past frolic
as in his lap lies the poet's life-lyrics.
The poet should wake up at least once in separation
for he fed his wife and children because his friend was in action.

for - ONE STOP POETRY - picture prompt.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let your smile be with me ....

Next time when you decide to depart and go away,
remember to leave your smile with me.

Let your smile drop in for a chat at least. When he would
sit across, bearing a bouquet of queries on his forehead
I will patiently answer, one by one.
He has changed a little since we last met; now
quieter, courteous but irresistibly charming as before.
When I will come home with eyes tired and soar
he would touch me and make me reach the sky.
Embracing me like a pair of dove wings
he will take me in his cocoon, as before.
Sometimes, perched on my windowsill
he would just watch me broodingly,
then again he would be airborne,
playing mischief with my locks.
I will wear him on my hair
when it will rain on my courtyard,
I will seek solace in him
if the scorching sun burns.
He would like to know, as always,
his baritone sprinkled with wonder,
why we resist truth so much!
But for once, I would convince him not to think.
We would together collect twigs and wood of memories,
and dry leaves of an unborn hope, some unwritten verses,
and light a bonfire of love and warmth,
twisting and rolling the taste of its smoke on our tongue.

So, next time, you decide to go away
Please remember to leave your smile behind.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stray thoughts ...

I have been so sad that I feel
tonight, perhaps I too can write my saddest lines.
But alas! Poetry and rhythm are nowhere to be seen.
Images are prosaic, similes stale and opaque, eluding the night,
And all I could write is a few knotted jumbled stray thoughts!
What the heck; it doesn’t matter.
Atleast once, let me write not for an award or an appreciation.
So what if it falls short from being a poem?
If I fail to support it with a picture and embellish with wisdom?
It is my stray thoughts and it is mine, I shout!
And I still can lean on its shoulder and cry my heart out.

Last night
 I lost my life.
Like pall bearers I carry the dead body
on my shoulder now.
But you don’t worry,
 you wouldn’t see
those ugly bleeding wounds,
for I have been careful to cover and hide them neatly
under a milk white spotless vibrant sheet.

His face, her face, their faces
all same,
They have come to see the dead body
to put some flower on it, and
I desperately keep tucking the sheet,
The mourners keep eyeing with curiosity.

What next?
Tomorrow, day after, another year
and what next?
Love, happiness, truth,
and then?
Duty, toil, leisure,
and afterwards?

Too many questions, too much displeasure,
deceits, lies, losses and what next?

I have played with your emotions,
and you have betrayed my trust.
Now what?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

monologue of a misfit ...

I have been a misfit
I could never fit in.

The older generation has been a bit too rigid,
the younger suffers from a ‘junk’ disorder,
and I hang in between like the Trishanku.
When small, all the girls in the neighborhood
found me odd, for
I had preferred to sit alone at a corner of the terrace
counting and observing the ants in a row.
They wanted to become doctor, engineer, pilot and what not,
but I always fancied to be the sun ray that used to come inside
the class room in askance.
Rubbished love while a beautiful teenager,
ridiculed nuptial bond after 18 years,
joined political club but was thrown out for being too analytical
attended the lady’s club but was hated
for never being able to notice a gold ornament or a costly dress
or for being un womanly enough to insist on siesta!
Tried to be religious but faith and belief is so prodigious!
Strove to become like everyone else
yet preferred to talk to a tree for hours together;
carried a broad happy grin when wanted to cry out loudly
sobbed when the happiest!
I have been an outcast, always
a block that never could fit in.

and like this, Time piles up
like this, time lies crushed
the dark holes around me grow in numbers;
vacuums and emptiness!
And now,
the meaning of life
stumble and fall into those holes
and is irretrievably lost.

posted for MAGPIE TALE 54

Satan's soliliquy

I have no past;
no future either.
standing at that lazy bent of the street
I still sing.
Why do you try to stifle my voice?
Let me sing.
Are you afraid that
you will see the same God you worship
within the crevices of my soul?
You said I have no right!
Said I am ugly,
revolting, devilish.
as many times I peep within
or look into the mirror
I see the same hungry soul
as yours!
you laughed,
but I sing the same symphony
that you do.
I have witnessed the same fireflies
on my finger tips
as yours.
When the morning sulks,
and my mirror forgets to smile,
I cry too, just like you.
and then, at times I wonder,
if you remove your robe
would you be hiding the same ugliness, within,
that I bear on my face?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Memories ...

For the busy and bustle; confusion and chaos; Tagore and Satyajit ray; snail paced trams and posh metro; heritage Howrah bridge and stylish malls; Trincas and the old beggar outside; mishti doi (sweet curd), hilsa fish and phuchkas (have no idea how to express in english as no word can justify the taste) --- Kolkata the city of joy ......

Sobs and sighs shudder

in concrete veins, hustled smokes

scream death; yet divine!


For a bird that suddenly came and sat on my veranda on a Sunday morning and threw a fistful of joy to me, transporting me in a jiffy, with its twittering and maneuvers, to a world divine ...

A soft flap of joy,

chirping, mumbling and rolling,

brought fresh dew to drudge.


for a few memories that keep falling incessantly like a monsoon drizzle

Relics of the past;

stubborn roots that spread about,

though the tree was hacked.

posted for HAIKU HEIGHTS - Prompt - MEMORY

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eerie tale ...

for magpie tales 53

I tiptoed towards him

and dared to take out craftily

one molten drop from the crystal jar

and didn’t pay heed to his whining and remonstration.

No one would believe if I tell how the jar took its own revenge.

The jar has claws and vampire teeth

and now that one drop has become a ruthless killer.

It is in my blood and saps my cells and I know I will die soon.

It bathes my days in worry and breaks my nights in ache, breeding grief.

Half silhouette, half myth he nudges his way into my soul, haunting ever since.

Now, I have to pay with blood

for giving into a sinful moment’s temptation;

sleep frozen in my opaque eyes; my soul is a lifeless log;

I kneel down for mercy; pray the dark soiled night for some light

but even the serene moon flashes out a dagger and strikes out mercilessly.

Was it a dream?

It must be.

Yet …

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pattern ...

The moments of past is embedded

in moments of future

and future is rooted in past.

The same recurrence of striving to paint

a deep blue ocean or a moss green forest

with perfect hue

yet each time you coat a collage of mismatch;

repetition of trying to draw a circle

but the lines keep running parallel.

movements among the maze of life

over and over again,

caught inside the labyrinth of struggles and triumph,

sometimes out of hatred, being forced,

then perhaps for love, on own accord,

trying to make way

in search of a destination;

following an invitation of the transcendent

yet caught into the muddle of the ludicrous,

trying to hide secrets and guilt that tend to

scuttle out like filthy cockroaches,

chasing silhouette of happiness, groping darkness,

across the zigzag bend,

again one more day with its monotony

like a nagging monsoon drizzle,

again one more night to gather old gashes ...

and the pattern continues …



Night has come again,

raked up wounds of solitude;

I pretend to live.



Sacrificing blood,

chaste dawn and night's solace,

she bestows deep love.

note: written for - few miles - the haiku challenge

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I love to talk 10

she was 19


many years ago

I wanted to write about my mother. Written words are different from those spoken. For spoken words disappear like snow flakes in a bright sun ray. But written ones remain like a painting work on the inner dome of the ceiling of a palace. They bear history and tolerate rushes of thoughts and memories.

As I sit here, far away from her, busy with rituals of daily chores, odd jobs and other paraphernalia, listening to brisk orders, interrupted by mobile phones, I suddenly, almost entirely forget my real situation and easily drift into the past, into my childhood and all I could think is of my Mom.

And when I think of my childhood the only scene that comes to me is how Mom would tuck me in and sit on the edge of my bed smoothing my hair and humming a song from an old Hindi movie – 'nanhi kali sone chali hawa dhire aana'(breeze blow tenderly for my little delicate flower will sleep) – and how even at that young age my eyes would well up with tears at the upsurge of emotion and so much love that I would feel for her.

From the time I was very small I was fascinated with her. Despite my father’s several attempts to engross me it’s been Mom for whom my face would always brighten up. To me Mom has been the most glamorous person in the world. Her milk-white complexion, butter smooth skin, straight Grecian nose, a forehead etched with confidence has always been my source of fascination and secret envy. She would move with the grace of a deer, rustle of her clothes - like a forest breeze to me! I would hate her going to office. I would hide her bags or money-purse so that she stays back. And once she’s gone I would keep holding her sari close to my chest as the soft cotton swish and the smell of her body would make me feel at ease.

My mother is a remarkable woman who could have been a reputed university professor if she hadn't taken up a government job to support her mother at a very early age. She is an ingenious, hyperactive, liberal, a woman-of-substance who can tell each and every episode and section of Ramayana and Mahabharata faultlessly with authentic names of characters that are main, important, supporting ones, not so important and unimportant, bringing it all to life better than any movie or any television soap ever did. She is a voracious reader with a powerful memory and the combination would make her answer every question be it 'kaun banega krorepati' (who would become a millionaire) or Bournvita quiz on television with such an ease that it puts my degrees to shame. Also there is just no crossword puzzle existing in any Bengali newspaper or magazine, old or new, that she has not attempted and could not finish!

She is a voracious reader. As long as her eyes would hold out, she has a book in her hand and while she enjoys RK Narayan and Navanita Deb Sen for their simplicity, ponders over the depth of Tagore and Bibhutibhushan, loves Joy Goswami, Mahasweta Devi, Jibanananda das, Buddhadeva Bose and many others whose names are not known to me, she never has shied away from reading heavier tomes in English. I am not very well conversant with Bengali Literature but if today I have read everything of Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Sharadindu, Leela majumder, Ashapurna Devi then the entire credit just goes to Mom and it is only her who instilled a deep sense of spirituality and the depth of the philosophy of life, with certain values that I still vehemently carry within myself. Till date most of the anecdotes and stories that I share in the class with my management students are those that I gathered from her. Teachings of Paramahangsa Ramakrishna Dev and Swami Vivekananda are in her blood stream and she keeps sharing them with me and my son often. In keeping with her philosophy, she never gives up reading anything she is not comfortable with. She has lived her life with the constant optimism that there will always be new and exciting things in life and one should always look forward to life with childlike enthusiasm. She refuses to criticize things she does not fully appreciate.

My mother had a very severe childhood thanks to my grand father’s gambling habits and spent the best time of her life wondering about how to finish her studies with such meager financial support. What I find remarkable about her personality is what she is ‘not’, despite the rigid orthodoxy and the constant pinching penny atmosphere of her upbringing. Yet she has lived her entire life with a sense of wonder at the world that has never diminished despite the losses of life.

Her greatest strength is the ability to not be rigid about anything, not her beliefs, not tradition or for that matter, her opinions. With her I was brought up in an atmosphere of rich culture and education. The movies that have been appreciated and enjoyed in our house are those of Satyajit Ray, Goutam Ghose, Ritwik Ghatak, Bimal Roy, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh. And yet she would appreciate a dancing Bollywood flick with equal gusto.

I have just remembered, the other day we were having tea together during my last Kolkata trip, and how she confessed with a sheepish grin that she has always admired actors like Guru dutt and Soumitra Chatterjee lovingly and with a naughty smile and a twinkle in her eyes told me that whenever she sees Movie actor Rahul Bose or TV actor Ronit Roy she just cant stop wishing that she had been young one more time, and how we giggled together as she was hushing me up saying my Dad shouldn’t come to know of this! Mom has read Mills and Boons and Sidney Sheldon just as confidently as she has enjoyed Milton's Paradise Lost or Chaucer's Canterbury Tales from my M.A. syllabus. She always pushed me, encouraged me, scolded me to take the world upfront instead of being mollycoddling or pampering me. I grew up without being cautious of boundaries of rich and poor, castes, of religious differences or even of boundaries of sexes. She has a constant belief in the possibility of progress.

I’d call her highly tolerant and broadminded, but those are insipid expressions that don’t capture the essence of a complex human being like Mom. The best I can do is say that she is vibrant to all possibilities and problems. Another unique way in which she is different from the rest of her generation is her private belief that old is not necessarily gold. She has always needed to have sound logic and reason behind any rituals or customs and this is what she has passed onto me, though I come across as more obstinate, opinionated, a rebel, sans her modesty and grace. I tend to break rules and she never prevents me or discourages yet with her grave wisdom she would always keep me anchored.

I often get up in the middle of the night with tears streaming down, fearing her gone and how lonely I would be without her. But how much ever I refuse to accept a world without her I know that the world is no more permanent than a rising wave in an ocean and life moves on with all its changes just as naturally as leaves fall from the trees. And I learn, whatever are our struggles and triumphs, I would continue to enjoy being her daughter and her being the nexus of my energy always and forever.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spy hole

Posted for Haiku Heights

Searching for my peace
I peep through to see beyond;
found darkness of doubt.


Doubt, you are removed
when I peep within myself;
hope and faith flash bright.


Bright Sun glances through
spy hole of clouds from heaven
clearing fog of doubt

Monday, February 7, 2011


Give me a weapon
Give me a machine!

I want to strike straight in the centre
and tear apart LOVE,
hook it and hammer it,
just to break open and see
what lies inside.

Would it be a divine space;
an oneness,
as everyone claims?
Or would it be a faceless nameless mask
of lust and convenience?
I want to fracture and sever LOVE,
split it open, make a large gash,
only to see what remains in between.

Give me a weapon
Give me a machine!



 Last night
 the boundary between
memories and the inky blue sky
got blurred.
Last night
I met my memories one more time,
when they kept falling and diminishing
as flakes of molten sorrow.
The continuous drumming of the rain
was getting synonymous
with the droning incessant ceaseless
falling of reminiscences.
Thoughts and recollections were
retrieved from the night’s eerie silence
and they, along with the
crimson patches of the past,
on a soil
enriched by the humus of remnants,
stood as a relic, a forlorn house,
an edifice,
filled with the husks of
a few discarded dreams
and thwarted hopes.

Now as I stand ready to plummet out of life
disintegrating, peacefully,
without a backward glance,
sans the hurled abuses and no tears,
would I like to die calmly, I think,
with the house of memories neatly tucked
in the maze of my mind!