Fifty Seven

I am poetry.

Glassy surfaced,
prettily decked in rhyme,
occasionally tangential,
otherwise, free verse however jagged
in flow.

I hide,
in an ocean of words,
my meaning –
obscured by the million eyes that
look close, skim through,
glance at, glassy-eyed,
or even read between the lines.

i’m just a rant.
i am the answer to the purpose of life.

I have the cheek to say
that i am Art,
i am abstract,
i chronicle your truth – not mine,
i will bestow upon you, the privilege of intellect,
there’s more to me than what meets your eye.

I tease you,
gratify you,
and just when you think you’ve figured me out,
you realize,
i’m a million right answers.
I’m anybody’s guess.

I’ve always been my maker’s secret.
I’m full of literary devices,
and defenses,
With that deliberate, misplaced comma,
that begs you, to reread, what you think you read.

I’ve always been my maker’s secret –
one that is not meant to be found out.

And funnily,
that joke is on me.

Fifty Six

No wonder it’s called a vanity bag.

There is no better trove in the world that could showcase a woman in all her splendor.
Size, material, the number of straps, buttons, ink stains, the number of zippers – functional, defunct but held up by safety pins, hidden, visible, fashionable, irrelevant.

Every seam bursting to tell.

Each bag has a variety of secrets. From sanitary napkins, to tattered bank statements and love notes that are well-worn along the folds. Organizers both digital and outdated. Books of poetry, music that needs updating, SIM cards, visiting cards, loose change, loads of neglect.

And each bag, holds what a woman thinks is most beautiful about herself. Kajal to spell her eyes. Muted and bold shades of lipstick to trace her talk. A hairbrush for the most beautiful tresses. A dab of heady perfume to punctuate her aura. A utilitarian deodorant, to avoid being obvious.

Sometimes, a tiny pouch with all of the above.

Her good luck charms and mobile memorabilia also come in varieties. A few adorn the zippers as key-chains and totems. Some find way into the wallet – movie ticket stubs, earrings with partners and parts missing, currency that functions miles away from here and now. Given by, bought for, with, or in the name of mothers and other long forgotten friends.

Everyday, she loses something to the great blackness inside the bag. Keys, names and numbers, falling tears from fleeting moments of shame.

Her dumping ground. Her consort. Idle pet on her lap during a long bus ride. Odd distraction at her fingertips while she confesses. Security she clutches through a deserted street. Quiet company at the coffee table she occupies alone.

The unconditional partner that comes in the size, shape, texture and colour of her choosing, standing gently and humbly by her side.

Forty Three

I spend all afternoon assembling pieces of you together.
I sit on the floor, legs outstretched, head cocked, wondering what piece of you goes where.
My jigsaw. My challenge for the day.

You keep changing, with every piece of you I put together. Different permutations of you.
I understand you better. And out of the sheer joy of it, I apply two and two better.

Occasionally, there are pieces missing. So, I break off bits of me, and put them there.
A little spittle to smooth out rough edges. A nip here. A tuck there.

You take any shape you want. You grow. You’re beautiful now.
Glowing and full and ready to walk out, shine, put the sun to shame.

I bask in the glory of you.

Each ray of you, pouring through me, spilling onto the floor beyond.
Through gaping spaces.

Spaces made to make you.


the piano in the corner of the hall had grown accustomed to being alone.
underused, with each of its wires bending with age. its white and black shiny digits losing lustre, fading to the ochre of old, old paper coloured with cream shades of romance.

its life was inching past, and all it could do, was wait for someone to play god with it.

and today, someone opened the piano box.

the piano watched in expectant silence, the hesitant hands that hovered, invoking a long forgotten Beethoven or Brahms.

it smiled.

and then educated fingers drew a soul out. they glided together, over the quiet of memories stashed away for a later time. they flew, fluttered, wavered, meandered, sank, plunged
deep within a bond beyond the intrustion of words.

they rose to a crescendo:
the piano, hands, souls, shoulders, eyes, all – they were all laughing.

For an icecreamjunkie


god’s eyes are shut.

in his yard,
a tree bears twelve wishes for offspring
twelve wombs’ waiting, tethered tight to its bark,
a circumventing mother’s eyes pressured shut, chanting
please please please please.

this tree probably has delivered the approximate number.

god’s eyes are shut
between one and four at noon.

the absence of a red or black circle on my forehead
tells him i won’t visit anyway.

trapped in stone, then four walls, heavy curtains, wooden doors,
and even iron grills,
god yawns at the world hurling past in a hurry,
at his more faithful pieces touching each cheek at a time,
or kissing a bent finger,
in a reflex, lasting five seconds.

my unbowed eyes, glazed over by original plans,
exclusive of the maker,
tell him i won’t visit anyway.

but i pass him by, everyday,
around a round-about, dedicated just to his shrine.

his eyes are shut,
between one and four at noon,

and i’m glad he can’t see me
everytime i inhale
his camphor skin doused with water.
a moist calm of belief.

olfactory is my religion.



I can hear sleep.

The gentle rustle of people absently adjusting the sheets.
An occasional sigh in response to a nerve-generated movie blaring
soundlessly, colourlessly
on a pervading black.
Beetles bugging their highpitched lullabies that they practiced all day long,
and suddenly, cleared their throats.
Automobiles on roads a kilometer away, doing dizzy speeds, groaning under commodity, guiltily sounding their horns.
The distant, bored mid-
A muted yelp, when leaves rustle.
A conscious, testing bark.

the keyskin depressing, stretching, flexing,
at my command.

i can hear

supersonic pixel-made sounds sourced from the telly gagged
by the mute button.

rhythms set at morning,
unfastening buttons hastily at night.

bored canvas.



i spit at the end of the thread,
and push it to the eye of the needle.

it bends, twists, disintegrates, splits,
beats around the bush,

(with irreverance to the fact that my face is presently most unladylike)

shovels its feet around in the sand,
knots up its fingers,
tugs at its hair,
twists the odd end of tablecloth –

i lost thread.