Palolem affair

The gathering night clutches
the folds of her robe
as she looks out into the moonless dark…

an impregnable roar echoes
the anguish,
the solitude of the sea


Solitary queen
In the high castle
she craves distraction

there is a practiced calm about him

a passive aggressive grunt
slips out
and breaks into

we sit and watch
them whisper

the sea
seasoned conquistador
charming raconteur
brings backs stories

and explodes into
sudden thundering guffaws


night blushes

coy, impressionable,

smitten by
his dark, mysterious,
vaguely majestic

her eyes
sparkling, wondrous


we sit there
and sip our drinks

unsure where
to look



Posted in ananth, beauty, Could be verse, epiphany, I want to ride my bicycle, Lou, nasha, nature, night, poetry, the beauty myth, vignettes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Darbaar Sahib




you have to peel off religion

one translucent skin after another

finding god

is drawing blood

the knife goes in slowly
black, viscous, slimy

faith oozes out

and then

it happens

as sudden as thought

or sleep

the knife turns

and seals the deal.

it’s done.

you’ve sold your soul
to an empty promise,
to nobody, to nothing

for everything

what’s more

it’s a one way street


I’m still searching;
a tired ploughman,
waiting for the rains,

the divine harvest

an archaeologist
in search
of the lost country of the mind,
or the mindless
or the godly

or the godless

I am not alone

in this archaeology

of desire


I sit and gaze around
taking a deep breath
befor plunging again

into myself


the marble floor
warms their soles,
the breeze whispers

sweet nothings to

the fish,
that patrol

the tank

chowkidars to

his darbaar,

the tank

is a fakir,

dance of in-breath,
out-breath in

unruffled repose

the ripples break into
an invisible, antique
smile on his


a face
that has suffered
the trudge
of millions of searching

feet, and awe-struck gazes.

peaceful at last
this monkey in a zoo,
this vate,
has settled

for the quiet life

the moon
is a sliver
cut out
of the black fabric

of this night

humble offering

to the radiant one

a voice 
carved with
the serrated breath
of a dying tree’s
withering bark

murmurs incantations.


without suffering

god doesn’t throw grass,

they say;

so the trudge continues

eyes peeled towards the glint

of ethereal gold

– a slice of moon
congealed at the heart

of the sacred pool


I dig deeper
back bent
mind burdened
with the impossibility
of my desire
for truth

for freedom

for affirmation
that my quest

is bigger than me


As the evening arati begins
everybody stands
I stand
with them

and wait

Some wash vessels
Some help clean
Some serve food that
Some eat at the Langar
Some sit by the pool
Some sit by the shrine
Some by the book as it is being read
Some take a dip in the pool
Some take selfies
Some sit and gossip
(it sruck me that the first level was
an absolutely divine place for an adda)
Some play with their phones
Some make faces at the fish

Some chant the words of god

Everybody goes back satiated

from his darbaar
nobody goes back

empty handed 


I sit by the side
of the corridoor
of his house
unable to see
or think

or know


the sacred pool beckons,
the lights reflecting off

the golden domes blink

at my



temples are beautiful places
until you bring religion into them
Posted in ananth, beauty, City, community, Could be verse, epiphany, hmmm, ilham, nasha, nature, night, poetry, sacredisprofane, the beauty myth, why? | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

aranya #12: Rendezvous

Under a rectangle of moonlight
Qi and Kaththi sit
on a mat of leaves
Stick falls on stone
an eye implores
two silences
Kaththi stiffens
quietly leaves
Posted in aranya, Could be verse, nasha, nature, night, poetry, Prosepoetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

aranya #11: union

What the forest saw: notes cascade into each other, like the sky dripping into the forest, in a waterfall of desire. And born out of the union is the language of the trees. birds catch it in their beaks, and pass it on like a state secret. The tiger stares it down, as it paws at the dirt. Cicadas know what is to come, and go into a frenzy. The forest is a cacophony of tuning. There is a temporary lull in the traffic of calls. Like the orchestral silence before a concert.

What aranya saw: I see you. Fluorescent flame of the forest. In your eyes the quiver of the night. Your torso, the brazen mind of the forest.

Unfurl me. Teach me to speak. Like others. So I can tell them what I see. In the words of your skin, spell out the mystery of seeing. Through human eyes. Let me learn the smell of wet earth.

Come, you secret conniving spirits of the night. Eye of water, ear of root, groping fingers of the little creeper – bear witness with me. Give me satori, the sudden enlightenment that cracks open like an akhrot.

Teach me.
To be.

What kaththi felt: where the wind breathes in noisy contemplation. And the forest undergrowth is abuzz with the sound of squirrels. aranya rises. I’m besotted. Stricken silent with the sting of inevitability. My mind is not mine, my body answers to some ancient memory that has made its home in my limbs.

I am yours. Let me be that leaf that clings to your waist. That root that hangs around your neck. Tie me around your wrist alongside the parasmani.

What the earth felt: a stone slipped into the mud. Dislodged by the beating heart of the earth. The breeze knocked at its door. And the stone let it in. They sat, in silent surmise. I have known this. Since the beginning of time. I have heard the echoes of young hearts turning in their orbs. Dancing with each other. And every time it is fresh.

This union is the thread that strings these lives of the forest together

What the heavens witnessed: There are nodes in the system, discrete pinpricks of life. In the way that a komal rishabh sews a shimmering of tanpura strings, or the bawra wind that flits through the leaves, or the fledgling sunlight that lights up the forest floor, this sensual pulse reverberates in the seed of things. .

Their love is the harvest of the forest.

Posted in aranya, beauty, Could be verse, epiphany, forest, night, Prosepoetry | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A kind of home

What is a home? Where you can lay your thoughts to rest. One by one. Like folded clothes. Where you can smoothen out the edges of the day’s dog eared pages. And pretend like you are whole again. Where compassion is a fire you don’t have to start all by yourself.
Somebody calls it the place where all attempts to escape cease.
But it’s a decoy. Like a smell that you didn’t notice at first, because you are right at the centre of it. And when it starts to curdle around you, you cannot believe you didn’t smell it before. It’s been there all the time.
The forest hides in the shadows. The ocean spills out of a broken urn. Music slips out of the broken string. And the light of many betrayals illuminates the dust, through the crack of a broken soul. The machine is alive when it’s broken. The system, when there’s a glitch.
Kintsugi is the art of mending broken pottery with gold. But I don’t need gold. All I need is the mismatched, incomplete, artlessness of a journey without end; to know that, really, it’s an illusion.
As Hakim said, chaos never died.
The river has no centre
No real beginning, or end
Its stillness
Is in its movement
I could live with that
A kind of home
Posted in angryfix, Could be verse, One Bad Day, Prosepoetry, why? | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘I’ll tell you all the news

the ocean froths In the empty ghada

a Shrill whisper rises 

Like piss in the stream 
The fawda picks away at the clod
Darknesses converge 

Upon the decaying carcasses 

The dead stink 

Louder than blasphemies 

In the sacred chamber 

And time, 

she laughs
The fawda picks away at the clod
Barbed wire angels 

Guard the arena of the mind 

Left brain right brain 

Left wing right wing

The blind man sees 

What nobody can 

Because he has vision 
The fawda picks away at the clod  
A shadow has fallen over the sky 

The hungry earth is stifled into silence 

Above the beating heart of stone 

Rises the three faced creature of the night 

Yelping fire, bloodless eye 

The bells toll.
They toll for you 

They toll for you. 
The fawda picks away at the clod 


Posted in #poemaday, Atyachar, community, Could be verse, Gothamisation, hmmm, I want to ride my bicycle, It is written, middle class mithya, night, One Bad Day, picture abhi baaki hain mere dost, poetry, why? | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

aranya #10: the conference of dogs

“…The sun was still orange then” he murmured. the forest, of old, glistened through his eyes. his dappled ashen beard shimmering gently in the breeze. “This was before the world knew humility, before humans knew the meaning of violence. I was brash then. bolder than I am now.”
Kaththi always seemed as if hew was sitting at the threshold of this world. as if his eyes were thrown open in wonder, gazing into another universe filled with dreams and magic, and his voice was giving testimony. or clearing a path between the brambles, and long prickling grass of the forest.
The dogs sat caught in the lasso of his story. Quiescent. some panted. all of them were watching his every gesture, as he spilled the milk of his pasts into their midst.
“I stole it. like an idiot. like some petty thief. and I sold it in the blackmarkets of Aryavarth. Ganpati’s story. for a few paisa. And as more people heard his story, he grew bigger. and bigger until he was too big for the forest.
Yeah, that’s right. Ganpati ran away from Siva, to look for his human head. his elephant body. We met. I took him captive.”, and he let out a great big guffaw.
“You’d think he was divine, immortal and such, but he was clumsy as hell. just wrong. plain misfit. he was standing there like some confused adolescent. might as well have held a sign.
One full day I gave him. in return for his tusk.
‘I’ll throw in a poem he said.’
‘with war and stuff. two warring families. I’ll throw in a story of live, and death, and betrayal. I’ll write you an epic worthy of an age of giants, and men. women of such fire, and men of such vision, that they will be the stones on which lives are scratched out hence’
‘So I gave him a day. bartered for the Mahabharata’
before I returned him to Shiva”
“He never quite got the hang of it, you know. this god business. He seemed better of in the forest.”
he stopped. Tashi suddenly sprung up and trotted into the foliage at the edge of the clearing. a bird called in a shrill bassoon. leaves rustled.
one look at sitara, the alpha of the pack.
and they left. the dogs.
Posted in ananth, aranya, beauty, Could be verse, epiphany, forest, nostalgia, picture abhi baaki hain mere dost, poetry, Prosepoetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment