Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Homs, Syria, 2016

I am called a Syrian Christian,
In my home state, though,
Neither was I born in Syria,
Nor do I have close relations there.
Some cousins have blue-green eyes,
And, the pale skin of Syrians.
I may have a bit of Syrian blood,
(Though I am dark brown),
Ironically, they also say I am of an Indian breed,
The descendant of Brahmins from Palayur.

Homs perchance was my ancestors' birthplace,
And tears roll down when I see,
Homs, my ancestral land, today,
Torn and twisted by bombs and mortar,
Crumbled buildings, empty doorways,
Vacant spaces where people lived,
And fled, in utter panic,
From death, rape, and terror.

Those people, those refugees,
They are my people, too,
They are people like us everywhere,
Like us they need a home,
Not a hollow place with a gaping hole,
Offering no safety from bullets,
A place to call their own,
To lie down curled in sleep,
Stretch their tired legs,
Perhaps, not to be awakened by a bomb.

In Homs, Syria, my ancestral land,
Nothing moves, nothing except maniacal metal,
From barrels made of steel.
The vestiges of our culture are torn down,
Churches and mosques are but rubble,
There are no homes, roads, or, parks,
Schools have been shut long ago,
And desks have been burnt,
Blackboards have been further darkened,
By the soot of fires.

Neither do I want to visit Homs,
Nor, do I want to walk its streets,
It’s a ghost town when darkness falls,
Nary a mongrel's barks there,
Or, morning chirps of birds,
It’s not home to anybody,
No water to drink, and no food for hunger,
The fields around are dynamite fields,
It's said there are more land mines,
Than blades of grass.

It’s a wasteland, this once thriving city,
Which its inhabitants abandoned,
They say it’s the new Biblical Exodus,
Of people through deserts and mountains,
To a promised land across the seas,
Where they wait in line,
To rebuild their lives,
Wash, clean, and cook,
Send children to schools,
And, wait to be given visas and work permits.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Smart City

Build me a smart city that borders the seas,
By Malabar Hill where there’s plenty of breeze.
Where flowers grow on uncluttered streets,
And single-screen theatres play old movies.

Build me a walled city that’s free of crime,
Where no one slumbers on avenues of slime.
Appoint a policeman who is honest and smart,
Who won’t bend down to robbers and farts!

Build me a city where people don’t roam aimlessly,
And, work on jobs around the corner, yes, seriously!
Two bedrooms, hall, and kitchen would do fine,
To spend insomniac nights of lying supine.

Build me a city where cell phones don't rob sleep,
Where friendships are real and grudges don't keep.
Where friends, wherever they are, return urgent calls,
And, aren't just smirking pictures on walls.

Build me a city where Internet and wi-fi are free,
There’s no need to pay income tax or parking fee.
Where media is not always breaking false news
And ad jingles don't turn ear worm and confuse.

Build me a city where nights are not darkness wrapped,
Where women are unmolested and girls unraped.
Where homeless people can sleep in night shelter,
Where smiles are warm and free is laughter.

Build me a city where men don’t dart into hellholes,
To biometric systems and cubicles without souls.
Then train-compressed commute to their tiny flats,
To canned laughter and inane dramatic plots.

Build me a city where rain doesn’t lives disrupt,
Where sewage doesn’t overflow and streets are swept.
Where a man can lay his tired head on a bed,
And say, “Oh, it was a bad, but you will always be loved.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Leaving the Country!

What's this about leaving the country,
As if we don't need talented gentry,
Where do stars disappear?
And then in the night appear?
"Twinkle, twinkle," said my friend from Rajahmundry!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Limerick: Cattle Thief

This limerick just happened. I don't know, it fell from the sky:

Once in village Kidangoor there was a cattle thief
He was accused of killing cattle and eating beef
Once he had some chicken
With bird flu it was stricken
He died; in heaven he gave up meat and turned a new leaf!

Monday, October 05, 2015


You walk on heels to the crowded mall
On the tiles you trip and fall
On your orange rain shoes light
And blue jeans oh! So tight
You back pack gets soaking wet
You swing it sideways to your breast
Your hair gets wet and matted
You aren’t aware of guys besotted
You furl your wet green umbrella
What’re you staring at old fella?
Then you trip and stumble again
In a puddle created by the rain.

You are a girl just out of school
Here to date that awkward young fool
Maybe he is not the boy for you
You should go find someone new
Perhaps he’s not worth your while
Nor is he of your station and style
Does he hurt you and black mail?
Does he tease, cajole, and rail?

I follow you to the crappy food court
In a sea of plastic; see him, wasted sort
His hair like uncut grass standing
P’haps needs soap and scrubbing
Skeletal looks, pants slipping down
Arrogance on face and on brows a frown
In which social network did you find this ape?
Looks like he does molest and rape.

Well, he is not your type, so let him go
Why do you hang on to these types, so?
Then I see you stumble, one last time
Here’s my opinion, ask for it anytime
Don’t end up a junkie ‘cos of your choice
He is not worth it, just take my advice.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

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 phallus droops like a lifeless exclamation
Your balls have run dry from too much fornication
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 demolishes books

And, the tender egos of those pompous crooks.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


You reach out to people in anger
But they don’t let you touch
Contact with you is dangerous.
You babble; you waffle for help
But they don’t hear anything.
You are afraid of falling again
You pause on the brink
You dance to a rhythm, lacking harmony.
You know what you desire
You think it’s so near
But you can’t have it.
You know money’s the problem
You know you can’t steal it
Have it; spend it;
Trash it; earn it.

Because you are addicted,
Because you aren’t yet de-addicted,
Because they lost hope, now you can’t be treated.

So, you teeter on the edge
Stumble on the ledge
Careen on the slender scarcement
Hold on to your perch
Scared you will lose hold
And come crashing down the embankment.
They are waiting for you to fall
They enjoy seeing people plunge
And crumble into blood and broken bones.

Because you know you are addicted
Because you are delimited
Because, too late, you cannot be adjusted.

There are no heights you haven’t scaled
No depths you haven’t dived
You step into home and say “Sorry Mom, Dad,”
They know there will be no return
There can’t be any compromise.
You wish you had better parents
You wish you lived in another age
On a mount called Cumbala Hill
On a street named Nepean Sea Road
In a city risen from the sea of Arabia
Smelling of dried fish and sea weed.

Because you know you are addicted
Because of what uncles and aunts predicted
Because of the way you conducted.

You are alone, always lonely
You stare into space, silent
Every time you sit down
You gravitate to that familiar space
That hides a leashed beast inside
Nerves tingling, hands shaking.
Withdrawal visits in a moment too soon
You curl like a fetus
You roar like an animal
You scream and moan like a canine.

Because you are addicted
As they had predicted
Once they have stealthily detected
Your mock cremation has been conducted.