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.


VII/MMXVI

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Power Is Gone, My Dear!



Waking up I say: the power is gone, dear,
Can’t pump water, but don’t despair,
The fridge will not work, my dear,
For the food gone stale don’t shed a tear.

My dear, it’s dark because the lights are out,
Step carefully, and please don’t you shout
At the servant. She is not the reason,
It’s the doing of the ministry in season.

The cell phone battery is way down,
You can’t call a taxi to go shopping in town.
Except in emergency you can’t call or chat,
Until it’s recharged from the very start.

They say they will fix it in two days,
That would mean a week, anyways.
Can’t chat with our abroad-living son,
Without power the internet won’t function.

There’s no water so we can’t bathe,
Let’s eat stale food and go to bed straight.
Tomorrow, dear, is another day of powerlessness,
The government doesn’t care for its uselessness.

Can I fix anything? At least, the back-up?
No dear! There’s no liquid in that damn set-up.
Unfortunately, no television soap operas or reality shows,
This here is reality; not a chimera the world follows.

Note: On a recent trip to my home state of Kerala, following heavy rains, there was no power for almost a week. This was written then. Just to show how in a connected world everything we do is dependent on electricity.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Rain's Reply

The rain asked the earth, are you quenched?
Is your body properly drenched?
The earth said yes,
But what will i do with this mess?
Rain said 'do what you will, no conditions attached.'

Friday, May 27, 2016

If Death Comes Calling Tonight! (Villanelle)



If death comes calling tonight,
Clad in robes of silken black,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.


After the fading of early twilight,
If the end comes, do not turn it back,
If death comes calling tonight.


Hide him in shadows, if the light’s too bright,
And do not let time turn in its track,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.


To leave the world and end the long fight,
He concedes, he fought bravely, nary much luck,
If death comes calling tonight.


It can come in some fancy flight,
A gun, a bomb, or, a rumble and quake,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.


Sorry world, all this was so fleeting, alright,
He has no regrets, no turning back,
If death comes calling tonight,
Hasten, hasten, it before the first light.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Going to Pakistan

Oh, our dear motherland, Hindustan,  Tell us why should we go to Pakistan?
To put some tasty beef into our mouth, Which we can get in Kerala, in South?

What's this anti-national rant, our friend? When it's you, who reached Lahore to attend, A wedding amidst playing of bands, A tasty feast, and then holding of hands.
A few of our friends from Pakistan, Want to come to our land of Hindustan, They have heard India is a free country, Expression is free, but filled with whataboutry.
Saadat Hasan Manto, though you went to Pakistan, The Land of the Pure, just heaven-istan, Your heart pined, we know, for Hindustan, Why didn’t you follow the path through Rajasthan?
Pakistan, Bangla Desh and Hindustan, Triplets of history’s circumstance, Why have you split and made us ache? We were one country, for God’s sake.
Leave them be, our writers, and students, Forgive them for their slogans of stridence. If we chant, “Victory to Bharat – my Motherland?” Will you let us stay in this beautiful land?
Note: Heaven-istan, a place like heaven. Whataboutry, the propensity to preface contentious issues with “What about this/that?”

Monday, May 02, 2016

Ode on a Grecian Crisis



Thou urn of Gods, Holy Grail, cornucopia
Of learning and poetry harking back to Athenium.
Thou born of wars of Thermopylae and battle of Platea
Fierce battles that raged in seas of Artemisium.
Thou art bankrupt, now begging for succour from Germany
Can’t believe this fate has fallen on the country of Herodotus.
Failed state, basket case they say of thy finances
What happened to the vanquishers of the army of mighty Darius?
Stories of thy valour and munificence there are many,
Narratives sprung from Epistles lacking in nuances.

Dost thou have no money to pay thy pensioners?
Have thou no resources to manage thy historic debts?
What of the poor and destitute and thy farmers?
Dost thou have money to pay thy commanders and cadets?
Thy combined forces under Leonidas defeated Persia,
Routed the navy of Persians under thy warrior Themistocles.
Athens and Sparta were once thy prosperous kingdoms,
Wisdom was once disbursed by thy son the great Socrates.
Thou could have created a mighty empire throughout Asia,
Yet thou were satisfied to lord over thine own fiefdoms.

Yes we have heard of the great Agamemnon and Helen,
Sure we have read about the great warrior Achilles.
But, today, world economy is dominated by Janet Yellen
And the men who work in the White Houses on Capitol Hills.
Did you forget you were the world’s first democracy?
Or, did you forget your ancestors’ great history?
Have you forgotten Achilles’ fury over death of Patroclus,
As told by Homer in Iliad, your grandest story?
If you don’t think this is all myth-making and hypocrisy?

Then go to Germany and Europe and settle your dues.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meet Mr. John Nobody

(With apologies to Poet Dom Moraes)
I
Glad to meet you, poet born to somebody, Cheeky jowls, languid hair, and plump of body, With glasses slipping down your nose, A receding chin and lips as a wilted rose.
Alright, you lived for poetry and prose, A life sacrificed at the altar lachrymose, You married beautiful women and left them, Because, bored of them you soon became.
You were anointed; you were God’s child, Your verses were mellow, but were angst filled, The pages of history’s sinister happening, You chronicled without a sigh or sorrowing.
They called you a promising child prodigy, It’s so sad your life ended in tragedy, Writing in flawless iambic pentameter, While drinking liquor in bottles by the litre.
Though your life was troubled, t’was not bad, I know of unread poets who have gone mad, You confidently walked the road of fame, Nobody said an unkind word, or, of shame.
The world in which you travelled and wrote, These days is full of show and self-promote, Today poetry slammers face audience in anger, In their minds no any compassion linger.
II
Now, please, meet Mr. John Nobody, Writer of vain and vapid prosody, Bearer of considerable self-inflicted pain, Singer of many a rock-star-poets’ refrain.
He is a poet of utter nothingness, Prone to long bouts of carelessness, He writes poems that no one publishes, To save him from ignominy and the blushes.
Once in a while he makes a few submissions, Which come back replete with outright rejections, How then would he make a poet’s pre-eminence, Before he reaches his state of senescence.
In writers’ fora he has tarried too much, Closed poetry circles he tried vainly to breach, But the bitch goddess wouldn’t post a smiley, On his attempt to essay metaphor and simile.
John Nobody thinks there was life on Mars, And it self-destructed in a few millennial years, Likewise life here on earth is not eternal, It’s only a few years from an atomic infernal.
So, John Nobody doesn’t mind much the anonymity, He constantly absents from events with regularity, When he dies, he says, don’t grieve, instead, drink Moet, On his grave write, “He doesn’t mind being re-born a poet.”