Wednesday, October 09, 2013


(Written after seeing disturbing images of children caught in the Syrian War on television.)

There was peace here before the guns came
The birds used to sing before darkness became.

We had water to drink and food to eat
We had grains, vegetables, and even meat.

The days were peaceful, boring, and calm
And no nights of gunfire and napalam.

We children went to school and men to work
Gunmen didn't on street corners lurk.

Bring back those days; oh, bring them back
These difficult days are hard, loads on our back.

We don't need your free clothes, food packets, and peace talks
We only need our freedom to take our children to the parks.

Leaders, it takes a few hours to declare wars
But it takes people lifetimes to forget the scars.

We live in strange lands under your polythene tents
We don't know what our country's future portends.

Mother says, "Child, tomorrow will be good, go to sleep"
But sleep won't come despite counting a hundred sheep.

Give us a chance to be once more in schools
We promise we won't break many rules!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

The House Where Kipling Lived

House Where Kipling Lived

Leaves drop in sibilant silence
The paths that leads to it are unswept.
The trees draped with vine
Breathe the air that he breathed
A century and a half ago; yet,
Seems like yesteryear.

The bungalow stands in decrepitude
Rotten wood painted green
Crumbling with no master inside
To give it a dusting, Gunga Din would do fine.
The staircase down which he descended
Now creaking and brittle with age
The balustrade coated with grime.

At the entrance is a weathered bust
A reminder of the man who portrayed the East
As a sign-seeking misinterpreting man of the West
The trees entered his heart; the vines his soul
There they stand before the old bungalow
Bandar-log[1] peeping from its branches.

If we be The White Man’s Burden[2]
How come he praised Gunga-Din[3]
You’re a better man than I am?[4]
Here, in this dereliction, was born one who loved the East
Told its stories to an appreciative West
Forgetful city, oh, please remember your son
Your history books take scant notice of this one, your bard.

[1] From The Jungle Book
[2] A poem written by Rudyard Kipling
[3] The protagonist of the poem Gunga Din
[4] From the poem Gunga Din

Thursday, May 23, 2013


These paths on which only one man can tread
So brittle they break if more men step on them
Don’t know who tread them before me
Over centuries, generations, and lifetimes.
They wind, criss-cross, and snake
As spider webs across dusty earth and grass
They never fail to lead somewhere:
Holy place, school, hospital, rest home
Or, to some point of exquisite scenery
From where can be seen brilliant sunsets.
In forests they proclaim human habitation
Or, a nearby stream to quench thirst.
We are mere passers-by, walking
They remain there till the end of time, unchanged
Till men die, abandon, walk away, or immigrate

To a place where they can set up a new home.