Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cosmopolitan

When you write about your city
selling white tin stars
assorted chocolate chips,
Pomegranate among other things
And sumac,
I think I know how language of yours
build your own homeland,
A small strip of peace
And yet
I find similar connotations of home
here -
In my city ,
Here also our footpaths are full of them,
Only some objects are our own
The rest is very much
cosmopolitan.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The musician and the General

When the General asked him
To pluck a note and pull the string-
It seemed a difficult proposition,
His fingers looking unfed for weeks
Had nothing in them to create a magic
And then all around stood derelict
Houses of his ravaged town...
Rubbles sat on minds and hearts
Of those who survived the Holocaust
And this General with stubble moustache
Wanted him to strike something...

What could be risen out of that sham?
The town ghettoed long ago had no Glam
Only furtive few notes written somewhere
Had faintly distinct a half forgotten repertoire;

Thinking all these he sat on the stool
And made an attempt to play no fool
With the board he knew like his fingers and palm...

Graded into three different steps
He put verse into the ruined build
And made a decoration with added taps
Gentle as they were till reaching the crescendo;

The General kept his eyes closed
All through the session silent as someone
Caught in between hell and heaven,

And when his fingers stopped plying
He just opened to another life
And smiled
And then gave the weary man his overcoat.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hiatus

Take a break
From spinning the wheel
And on hiatus
Keep things,

For who knows
From that break
May arrive newer thoughts,
Replenishing.

The more I look at you

The more I look at you,
Life, the more I feel
There is no end to your wonders,
How you bind everything into your own rhythm,
How in your wings days turn nights
And nights turn days,
How from seeds grow the trees
And from trees grow seeds,
How light travels far and wide
And how from far away stars glitter
Their light reaching us after million years,
How we had trodden through struggles and deprivations
Till we caught the straw before getting drowned
Into oblivion, and risen up to see with love
And hope how the omnipotent had made our existence
A saga of its own, so magnificiently construed,
That we rarely make out if we had ourselves
Been a part of it,
The more I look at you,
Life, the more with certitude
Comes complete surrender,
Purged becomes the words
And so our being into this wonderful world,
When you make me to see beauty
In all life forms, from the minutest, the little feeble
One to the grandest and the mightiest,
I think I have been made by you
To ponder over nothing but your supreme benediction,
And I eulogise, knowing words can never fully hold
Your truest form,
The more I look at you
Life, the more with philos you drape me,
I go farthest of the far,
I come nearest to the near,
And this makes me all the more volatile,
For this works in me like an epiphany
And wonderment leaves me beseiged.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A mural

The man looked grave
And erudite was his moustache,
Thick,
Almost Stalin,

Above his head
A casement sat,
And near his hand
There were clenched fists,
They all shouted slogans,
Perhaps,

And smoke from chimneys
Stopped briefly near a flag with a star in the middle,
Before catching up with the rest of the wall,

Someone Salvadore Allende
Had been celebrated,
Presumably,

And a few paces away,
Where smell of raviolis
Filled the air,
A painted figure
Motionless sitting on a stool
Narrated the lore of Eleanora,

Facing the figure
There were faces numerous,
They had the intent of breaking out something,
In chorus,

Only
It was
A mural.

Remembering

Can't remember mother mine;
Only whilst playing
All of a sudden unnecessarily
A tune rings in my ears,
Then thoughts of mother mine
With my games intertwine;
She probably used to sing
Rocking the cradle-
She had gone away
But left the song subtle;

Can't remember mother mine;
Only when in morns of ashwin
Carried by the dew drenched breeze
Comes the fragrance of sheuli,
Then don't know why mother mine
Comes to my mind;
Probably she used to bring
Blossoms such in basket-
So the smell of puja
Comes to me as smell of mother ;

Can't remember mother mine;
Only while sitting at one corner of bedroom
Try to look out through the window
Towards the sky azure,
Then get the feel of mother mine
Staring at me simply
Like the way she
used to look at me
Many many years ago
Holding me in her arms-
She had left that stare
All over the sky.

(Transliteration of a poem by Tagore)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Summer afternoons of the yore

Summer afternoons then were full of fun,
To the terrace we would run,
Brothers, sisters and cousins,
There, beside the water tank,
Where granny had left her pots and pans,
We would savour the taste
Of her famous pickles,
With a spoon we would dig out
Pickles made of mango, jaggery and vinegar,

Downstairs, mother and aunts
Had their post lunch treat,
Of listening to plays on the radio,
And munching betel leaves,

Granny would then be taking her nap,
And at the neighbourhood drinking water tap,
There would be rows of pitchers and pails,

From the terrace we would see
Our small muffassil town,
Having a siesta under the summer breeze,

The arterial road that went to the bazar,
Had sometimes the company of vagrants,
With turbans on their heads as gears,
They looked like troupe of ballad singers,

And at the grove near the pond
Which looked like shady haunt,
Children would sometimes gather,
Like flock of pigeons, they would hop,
Till the afternoon would near
The evening's door make a stop.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

meeting a barista

'Where from you learnt this?'
Asked her,
She poured the liquid into the cup,
Stirred it on the fire for a while and placed it on the small circular mat.
'Very few people know that baristas are well travelled...'
She said.
'I brought fincans from there...'
She added.
It was only nine in the morning of a holiday.
Customers were scarce.
The aroma of coffee was hanging in the air.
'That means Turkey...'
Said working on a hunch.
'Yes! But how do you know?'
'Heard somewhere that they use fincans...'
'Yeah... they do...and they use a brass coffee pot...cezve...'
'Brought one of that too?'
Asked in a jocular fashion.
'Yes...'
She replied,
'You seem to take this job quite seriously...'
Made the remark,
'That is half of the trade...'
She said,

Took two quick sips from the cup.
The smell of beans was invigorating.

'You know something, they use Arabica, and they ground them to extra fine...'
She said,
'Brought them too?'
Asked her,
'Wish I could...'
Her voice became suddenly wistful.
The bell at the door rang.
An elderly couple entered the shop.
Knowing she would soon become busy, thought of wrapping up.

'I don't know Turkey... but this one tastes superb...'
Said and looked at her.
'Flattered...'
She replied.

'Teach me one day, how to make this...'

'I will not...for then, you will not come here!'
She was pretty straight.

I guffawed.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Upon a Levone Sterling

How can I say, what the meadows sing?
What godliness those flowers bring?
And that thin silvery stroke of your paintbrush
With what benediction you create a beauty such?
Those distant hills, they seem so angelic
With what divine glow you make bright the bleak?
The sky seemed so ethereal and blue
From which palette you get that hue?

How can I say, what the meadows sing.

(The picture attached is a work by Levone Sterling)

For Auld lang syne...

Stand there, for a while,
Under the shade of the tree,
Stand there, for a while
For auld lang syne and me;

The world might be busy
Full of snarls and shouts,
But stand there, for a while,
And see the rainbow through clouds;

Stand there, for a while,
When you got a little time,
Stand there, for a while,
For auld lang syne.