Friday, April 29, 2016

Melpadom, Kuttanadd, Kerala, 17.30, 12th January 2016

On the gilded dome of another dawn, strange shapes
of different sizes are being made
sometimes it looks like an orange
being peeled, sometimes like tender mango skin
then it changes colours, like a chameleon
behind villas getting eaten up
by dust, a slow fire burns
in a shanty.

Riding on the lacy blue winds
birds return home, to a place
where eyes will be heavy with sleep
earthworms wriggle back into tiny holes
as coconut trees let their hair loose to dry.
The murky owls will take refuge
in the chimney of the house
before which I steal a glimpse
of shadows growing paler
of hens getting into their coop
and the servant scuttling into her
one room house
the sky will rub off the red vermilion
from her forehead
and will soon wear a black veil.

Monday, April 25, 2016

14th February 2016, Aurora hall, Calgary


From the winter window
melting with human heat
in a strange city brimming with nameless life
I watch two people ensconced wearing each other's bodies 
like warm cardigans, twining their fingers like knitting needles
It's the festival of love, as love can be seen
plastered on walls of restaurants,
malls and the community hall in pink
sealing the deal in sales 
or doled as discounts.

While in this part of my weary world, 
these two speak to a civilization
Torn by bombs, fractured by barbed wires
My lonely eyes capture the postcard greeting they give to the world
On a moonless night lit by silent street lamps.
Sipping slowly from my favourite mug with a happy picture
He gave on one such Valentine's day

I wonder,
Why do photos save moments
that will be forgotten?
As tears trickle down my face
I realize that I now prefer my coffee salted
as my tongue gets used to the taste of 
wet memories.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apology

To the man trespassing her body in a hive of huddled humans
buses, metros or the local trains, where female body is a mosquito
that can be trampled by mustached machismo
to the guy in the lab who walked on her, with an unapologetic wince

walking into her way is his right, he thinks
to the teacher who doesn't bother to listen to her questions
mathematics is an equation, hers was never right

the science of home making they say is her call
to the salesman at the mall, because the dress doesn't sit on her

her tiny frame gives rush if hormones
to the brash neighbours who harass her with impunity

her lonely wars fall on their deaf ears
to the boss who thinks a promotion is not her cup of tea

making tea is what he thinks she's good for
to the mother-in-law who considers her opinion as bad manners

and her sneeze an ugly omen
to the husband who thinks she isn't allowed to fall ill.
Everyday a woman says sorry and chews her words
like her favourite bar of chocolate
or sweetens them with apologies, for secrets that wane inside her bones
for it is not lady-like to raise a voice or use her brain
while she carefully cuts the tags from her new clothes
she thinks of the labels women wear everyday,
for daring to open their mouth, or asking questions
or claiming for a raise at work
while for some like her, apology tags along
for being the pale shadow of a man.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Death

Death is the beggar
pleading to you for mercy
found at the street corner
embalmed in stink
staring helplessly at
his begging bowl.

Death is the master
punishing you for your sins
striking with a million lashes
for mortal cowardice.
Death is the latest suitor
who has bought your sanity
for a million unanswered questions
whose absence strikes like lightening
and melts in the babel of birds
singing an elegy, dumping you
to perish in the litter of leaves.
Death is the black box
gilded in gold
cut to carry your bones
the most comfortable home
that doesn't deny
for the riches you don't possess.
Death is the iceberg
the tip of which we all
will touch one day
to perish, and resurrect
under a golden sun
shedding our shrouds
the last skin we'll wear
as our loved ones pluck the
'forget-me-nots' rooted
around our grave.
Death is the only promise
life ever gave, naked we came
bare-footed will we go
with clenched fists
that opened at our birth.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Learning English

English is a funny language
grammar not playing to advantage
some words have silent sounds
as the confusion pounds
stacking up like layers of cabbage.
Wrist and write chew on first word
these funny rules do seem weird
a set of tooth are teeth
many booths are never beeth
funnily if logic was spared.
While sweetbread is a piece of meat
and sweetmeat is a sweet one can eat
noses run and feet smell
laws made are hard to tell
Which is why English is no mean feat.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Meeting a stranger for an Arranged Marriage date

I’ve felt like an anorexic model
reed thin, yellow, listless
while sashaying down the restaurant floor
Restaurant is their favourite place. 
They may meet you in these places

restaurants, book stores, malls or coffee shops
wrapped in crisp, neatly ironed clothing
buttoned up, their protruding Adam’s apple peeping out
most remind me of young boys dancing
their way to school. 

Others look like businessmen
waiting to seal a deal with a signature.
Some look like rag pickers
who hate to bathe or clean, stinking like 
piles of garbage piling
in the corner of your colony

attracting diseases.

They appear confident
when they hit on a conversation
gulping down glasses of water
Their eyes fixated on the legs of the chair
you are propped on like a kitten, coiling in her fur.
They sell their degrees
and blow trumpets about the money they bring home

flexing their muscles.
While they mouth sweet nothings to you, 

Their eyes twinkle like a love struck teenager.
Inside their dirty heads muddled with selfish misgivings
they will be giving you points, on a scale of one to ten
You will be judged on the light that your face can emit,
to the stupid talk that barfs from your mouth, 
being thrashed for intelligent opinions you may dare to have. 

Some may want you to be a donkey, carrying your own burden 
and that of theirs. Some may think of you as baby makers,
considering your body as a machine that plops out babies 
when their semen gets lost in your womb, much like your mind.
Some may want you to be a guinea pig
with whom they can practice the various “Kama sutra” poses
or may think of you as an ATM machine

your money will buy their happiness.
It’s a million dollar industry, this arranged marriage market
where daughters every year are trained to be mute mannequins
or trophy wives that men can show around to a society
that loves to poke its nose in other’s business
blinded by the big fat log in their eye.