Monday, April 28, 2008

Blot and Smudge

Some days, the sea hums. It gently hums, bringing your mind very patiently from its feverish meanderings to listen to the steady hum. It also pauses for very tiny moments, when it feels like you have found the stillness of your soul.

On some other days, the sea roars. Like today. It hurls its waves towards you and roars incessantly, making it difficult for you to hear anything but its sudden and inexplicable ferocity, as if setting the pitch for something dark and nasty.

Dark clouds hang so low that it feels like I could stretch my hands up and pull them down. It is one of those moments when nature’s stern forebodings give you strange feelings of participation in something dramatic.

Drops of drizzle land on my notebook and smudge the ink here and there, as if telling me that memory and what I record here will have to go down with these smudges. This feeling is strengthened as I turn the pages and see that the drizzle has already seeped into them. Pages and pages of writing blotted by ink smudges.

As it dries, each smudge forms a small design of its own. Beginnings and middles and ends of words and sentences spreading into random ink designs. Meaning and meaninglessness thus happily coexist on my cheap-paper notebook, in spite of my mind’s vain persistence at subsuming all this into some total meaning, some coherence. Just as I start fretting over the rest of the page lying innocent in its blankness, the clouds descend without my help, and I run towards the nearest shelter, my vision rendered smudged by the rain on my glasses. I could have stayed in the rain, had I not brought my notebook along.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Under crumpled sheets, he said,
“You are complete. A complete person.”
Not the kind of thing I have heard
Under crumpled sheets,
Incompletely dressed.
He thinks, therefore I am,
I guess.
I should thank him next time,
Under crumpled sheets, preferably,
For thus completing me.

Pre-approved. Sign-up.

Imagination is for things
That are not.
Either just not there
Or had and lost.
So fantasy or pain of loss.
Tolkiens have exclusive rights
To the former
While mine is a larger group
Called the romantics.
Membership demands are
Very democratic.
All you need are problems
Of personality and
Some masochism: no proof
Of identity needed.
All humans qualify.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

For Two

It is kind of difficult
For her to cook for two.
For four five ten twenty
It is just vague head count
In her vague head.
To cook for one
She has practised all life.
But for two, it has to be just right
For some strange reason.
For this one other
Definite person
In her definite head
No wild guesses will do
No culinary risks.
Hoping she and her food
Are called perfection
In its secret realm,
She sets the table
And eats alone.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Be Warned

Being an open book is fine
as long as you are
ready for marker pens
margin notes and
page markers
sometimes the leavers
never come back to claim


Fall, they call it here.
If you are not given to subtleties
You would think
Of something colossal
Coming down impressively
And hitting the ground.
Like empires, may be.
But it is actually dry
Brown leaves
Sashaying with great abandon,
Flirting even,
With confused air
Before landing daintily
On gentle ground.
Then arhythmic human feet
Crush them down
Just as, perhaps,
They've always done.

An Aerial View

From a morning flight's window,
Things look simple.
Happiness down there is easy
To imagine.
Field squares look clean and neat
And my finger tip can connect rivers and lakes.
Mountains look like pimples
On earth's greasy face
And clouds seem close enough
To be coaxed to cry anytime.
The first pinch of bathos, perhaps,
Will be a failed bargain with an auto driver.

In the big and small of things

"Do we matter," I asked
Looking up at the drowsy moon
And listening to the waves.
Your typical romantic cliche, you know.
"Do we matter," I asked him again,
"The plan looks massive, what with seas
and moons and all. Are we cared for in here?"
He took me seriously.
"Yes, the scale of all this is huge,
Big budget," he smiled,
"But details aren't spared you know.
In this humungous project, I care for you
And you for me.
The moon cares, I am sure,
Because it hasn't stopped visiting."

Tea Break

It was a usual tea break
Where questions were cues
To keep moving.
In the fleeting pairing game,
I managed to avoid her,
Hiding behind the elephant between us,
That was dark and huge and refused to budge.
When hot tea splashed over my chest,
I cried out loud,
Not yet trained in not crying
Over spilled milk or tea.

For a Friend

We are like flighty, old mirrors
To each other.
In a comic reciprocity,
We stutter like people on first dates,
But without the need to impress.
We have impressed each other so much
We have had to empty
Our receptacles of impressions everyday.

Years of knowing and laughing
Hardly help like plays rehearsed.
Every time, we improvise
And surprise.
Every time, the lines change.
And if they don't, the jokes fall flat
Or - this is the best part -
We laugh at non-jokes.
I caught myself thinking today
Of what makes us grin so much:
We don't know each other;
We don't need to. To know
Is not a requirement.
Not at all.
Being clueless helps our love.