Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Limerick

They say Valentine was a saint,
Who loved to create abstracts in paint,
The paint was pink,
Wine was his drink,
After a few sips he began to feel faint.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Scream!

Too long have we suffered tyrannies of powerful people,
Engaged with them in their enterprise of human deceit,
Rarely have we asked this life to be indexed, better organised,
We fell in love, we forgot, we ignored what is important to us.

We believed in love but love never gave us a second chance,
One chance too many, life seemed to whisper in our ear,
We saw our true love disappear in train rides, and crowded airports,
We didn’t read their histories, or, what happened to them next.

We stared at the things we don’t have in store windows,
We postponed the things we wanted to the nearest future,
We didn’t mind the profanities, the insults, written in restrooms,
We forced our habits around hardwork to rest our heads in sleep.

We sleepwalked days chasing corporate targets, but forgot our own,
We lost what we earned in the sweep of cards, a turn of wheel,
We wept our sorrows in doctors’ clinics and intensive units,
When the needle hurt us, we shook up, and screamed in pain.

Like mad we clung to seats in office cubicles and conference rooms,
We said tomorrow will be ours, but tomorrow never arrived,
We dreamed our dreams in theatres and pleasure houses,
We were full of promise, truth be told, those promises never came.

Our ill-health took us by surprise; we never knew we could be sick,
We realised doctors can test and diagnose but never heal,
We wept bitter tears when our hearts were clogged by unhappiness,
We wanted a quick death, but it lingered from drugs to emergency, back to emergency.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Why Do We Hate?

Why do we hate:
People who are of a colour different from ours,
People with slanting eyes and high cheekbones,
People with curly hair and broad noses,
People with brown skin and sunken eyes.
People who wear cloth wound around their loins,
People who wear colourful turbans and grow hair,
People with exquisite and lush beards,
People who wear leather sandals.
People who eat noisily from leaves,
People who dance and sing freely,
People who talk with gestures and interjections,
People who walk in the wild without shoes.
People with distracted looks who create beauty,
People who learn and teach others about life,
People with a begging bowl and hungry looks,
People who build homes with cardboard and plastic.
People who sleep on streets in the cold and rain,
People with nothing to call their own, no loved ones,
People who hate just for the sake of hating someone,
Our parents who teach us all we know and to walk and talk.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Breast Tax

In my faraway homeland of Kerala state,
There used to be tax, records indicate,
Called Breast Tax, a tax on breasts
On women who cover their chests.

One day, Nangeli covered her chest,
The Pravathiyar grew wild and upset,
“Pay the tax, at once,” he said,
“I will not,” said Nangeli, unafraid.

“You defy the law and thus your King,
For this you will do some lamenting,
You shall be whipped and made to pay,
The price of trespass will come your way.”

Grabbing breasts, she cleaved it with sickle,
Watching people cried, “Don’t be so fickle.”
Laid them on leaves, presented to Pravathiyar,
“Here’s your tax!” she said, as he watched in horror.

Nangeli died, whereupon the tax was withdrawn,
“It’s not right,” said the owner of the crown.
“Women will have all rights in my kingdom,”
Thereafter, it’s said, women were harassed seldom.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

“The Jungle,” Calais, 2016

Here we die slowly, he said, in our land it’s quicker,
Slow death is our choice, as the pain is bearable and boring,
In "The Jungle," at least, we are alive and breathing in the cold.

A thousand bombs rained on us in the desert and children cried,
Their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, disappeared every night,
A million shrapnels in their bodies, a cry frozen on their lips.

Here, it’s cold; our lands are hot, sweltering,
Reeking of gun smoke and smell of cordite burning,
The mornings we forage for food and water amidst the ruins.

In the refugee camp our bones slowly chill with the cold,
Our flesh freeze, we submit to the endless hostile gaze,
The batons of power rain blows on us, but, that's okay.

It’s no different this land and the one we have left,
It’s both ruled by powerful men with guns and tanks,
War lords who are lobbied by ruthless corporations.

Yes, we die slowly here, so that our children might live,
Sleepless, they stumble out of our flimsy tents into the cold,
There’s no place to play tag or learn alphabets here.

We never asked for wars or guns in our lands,
It's their endless wars fought in Councils and Assemblies,
They sold us guns and when the money was gone, sent food packets.

"The Jungle," Calais, France, is not far from Paris,
Twelve dead in the Charlie Hebdo shooting made big news,
In my country one shell kills twenty, and, they say, it isn't news.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Failed Writer’s Anatomy

Your brain is a jumble of unwritten words,
Your head is as bald as the Avonian bard’s,
Your teeth are chipped, those that exist are sallow,
Your eyes are jaundiced and are turning yellow.

Too many hours have you spent reading,
Other’s words, that you have tried correcting.
Your hands are calloused from too much writing,
Your skin is like parchment with no sunning.

Sitting too many hours has added to your girth,
I say you must stand up and write, forthwith.
Your heart’s irregular, yes, you can feel its beat,
You can sense it to be your greatest defeat.

Your stomach bulges with excessive beer,
Will it hold? You live in constant fear.
Your chest has sunk into your rib cage,
Your collar bones fight a losing scrimmage.

Your shoulders slouch and your back is bent,
Poring over proofs your editor has sent.
Your legs are weak you can’t stand straight
They can’t bear your body’s hulking weight.

It’s only fair that you abandon your writing,
Take up copy writing or letter drafting.
Or, be a critic who wantonly pans books
And, vanquish egos of those pompous crooks.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Closed Door

I wonder what’s happening behind
The closed decorative door of your mind?

Yes, I can open that door only if you open
Your mind and let me inside.

I know, I will find the shattered shards
Of many broken dreams there.

But I promise to step lightly,
Broken dreams can fragment at the slightest touch.

I will not let the mad rain drench you,
Or, let the fiery sun scorch you and the ornate door to ash.

I am sure behind the beautiful carved door;
I will find lonely hours of cravings and passionate sighs.

Longings that turned into milky secretions,
Behind creaky hinges, stained pillows, and fungal growths.

I think you decided to close the door in the flush of adulthood,
When you decided no doors must be left open.

It may be dark behind those closed doors,
It may suffocate a human and many hungry rodents and pests.

No light may filter through the cracks and crevices,
So for clarity there is no hope of ingress.

I know, it must be chillingly cold or melting hot,
Depending upon the season.

But I see a wind weeping outside your door,
Please allow it in, so it can purify the insides.

I will not disturb anything, I will only tread on
The threshold to see what others have not seen.

Whether you are fed, clothed, sanitised,
In accordance to the custom and observance of the land.

Or, if you are being prepared to be sent,
To another closed door far away in a stranger’s company.