It’s not unusual
for the new
be born again,
overcome the old,
be without a

And prosperity
of the old to cling
on to rusty anchor
of eternity- tried,

in the middle,
both the camps,
at an absurd prospect
of being
a soloist.

Who couldn’t
look afar,
to forsake
now and now
to surpass
the might
of the right,
holy skirmishes of
what is left of
the left.


Courbet went to the Louvre
copied Velázquez,
after lunch. A
on a loan of two
sumptuous lakhs 
goes instead
to ‘Orsay-
a loaf of
and a red
hidden in a
Dell rucksack:

Copying Courbet
on pale loose
charcoal sticks,
darkening trembling
hand on
who lived
as timidly 
his own
men, or less:
in the Courbet gallery.
How much Courbet
is he? 
How much Velázquez?


But why, happiness

is a fickle business.

Coldness or a

better bearing.

A coin is tossed. 

Unbeknownst to all &

till it doesn’t

fall on face:

an equal kismet.

What Such a Poem Will Do

It will not last.
Not made of
immortal blocks. Will cave
under the weight of snide remarks,
will be run over by
Its rhymes
churning like a babble,
no litany of a chant.
He who wrote it stealing
from a long April night,
wrote it furiously
before dinner,
trembling now in
its futility
the next afternoon.

It doesn’t ooze- anything.
Doesn’t wear ornaments
that tinkle sweetly.
Mindless, resting;
its critics took its wallets.
Its grand ambition is floating
in the Arabian Sea, with fishing nets, a
submission page.

I will not ask you
to befriend such
a poem. To indulge it or to listen to its grumble
will be a waste of time.
If it does not die of shame,
some strange disease will take it.
Enlist its name
on a charity roster.
Buy it a puff but,
leave it without hearing its woes.
Strange nightmares will obliterate it,
today or tomorrow.
Its heart is thick now,
so thin is its skin.

What such a poem will
that can not laugh,

can not love itself?

An Almirah-full of Love

Jumble, jumble, my heart is tumbling
over the slants of your
shoulder. Your nape is fragrant.
Let me kiss you, rose bud.
I am no one without you.
Without a metaphor,
a greedy monster. Will you reconcile
with me- won’t you, soft petal?

Even though it’s time to be separate-
a clarion call has come
to be evenly strong.
Without me, an individual. I am a reactionary,
not strong,
not wish to be. Without you- aloof, bitter,
violent. You are remedy. My life’s cliche.
I abhor you, darling, I love you so much.

Then, another separation, death.
The departure of you
from myself and I
from you. A vacancy remains not for there
will be new loves. Will they remember us?
Or, say, it will not matter, who loves whom, and how
our hearts were broken in a fickle way.
Forgetting is an almirah of loss and regret.

An Elevator in a Mall

Waking up the man walked a kilometer to reach the mall. It was noon. Throughout the day he was falling asleep intermittently. Walking for twenty minutes in the sun he was not yet properly awake. Through the glass sliding door of the mall he entered in a daze. Before knowing he was at the foyer. 

Where the bright mesh of the LED lights, the fluorescence of the tubes of the corridor, neon signages blinking noisily; the whole foyer had been made in relative darkness so that the merchandises could shine.

The toy cars vroomed and vroomed, a lure to the small boys. A trampoline swayed the girls- they were shrieking. Bouncing and shrieking. Showing off joy. The customers gushing in and out of the shops- crisscrossing the corridors, gloom in their faces. Although that feeling was momentary. It would go away after a purchase.

An elevator at the end of the foyer was lifting more bag holders heavenward. The riders stood in stiffness, in awkward proximity, with an anxiety to reach the destination. Standing erect on a moving ladder- the silent, wanting beings- gradually being floated away from the man.

Looking at them he whispered, ‘What brought us here?’

The entire scene felt so strange to him.

The year was 2019. The month was November. Having-an-ambition-vs-the-other-ways-of-living argument had been settled in the man’s mind only a few hours ago. He had found in his observations that the most rebellious philosophy of the year against capitalism was in disguise a capitalism’s bastard child. Made of the same blood.

It had disoriented him.

Nevertheless the man had to ask the question again. It came to him as easily as to a patient asking his whereabout, waking up in a hospital bed. Or, may be a vile forgetfulness had overpowered the man. Now his curiosity shining.

Or, perhaps, he himself was from the past, a la Rip Van Winkle of 2019, waking up from a slumber, had found a strange habitation that had mossed around him.

Of which he was no part. Of which he wished to be no part.

The truth that to be happy again one is to be weary and earn money and spend. And earn. And spend and be weary again and earn. And be earning and be spending, and be happy and be weary at the same time- this prospect of two stop travelling bothered him. ‘This is futile’, he whispered to himself.

But pondering again under that boisterous light; visiting the food court, smelling AC perfumes, hearing the children giggle in the mall’s made up cheerfulness; it was difficult for him not to be convinced by the wiliness of the modern time. He could not foresee how life would be led without it’s convenience, without its hope for progress. No matter how expensive that was. How one would convince others that one might not be as unhappy as one ought to be. From stillness comes satisfaction. 

That life could be led without its constant croaks of neediness; that insight although seemed true, he didn’t know a way to convey it to his fellow beings.  

Stiff Love

Love made of
iron bends
in the ochre
flame of guilt, rusts
by inches
with age.

The hand grow
stiff in stiff
hand and
calloused- in
a jealous lover’s


If they could be counted they
would have matched the heaven.
On the green great mound of a meadow
as abreast as twinkly stars.

Take note, the average, the oblivious,
though not you are stars, not prominent.
Frail roots will hold each other under the earth to
make you one and tenacious. You are humble grass.


Softly, petal, it does not die:
the urge. The memories of grainy
softness, brush. Soft curls new
dew clad on
mound. Goosebumps
are preceded by kiss.

Raise, raise, raise two hands,
two wings. The arm pits are
naked caverns, seek!
The body flesh: it’s water, it’s a stone.
A sweet love is
love and technique.

Pune 41

A small boy screaming.
Asking God to return early
the next year.
His voice,
both shrill and feeble was
making the building
people laugh.
Perseverance such,
they said.

God, in the meantime,
was drowning.
In his many clothes,
green, yellow glitters.
Turning red under
water, turning clay,
turning mud
in the wrought iron
water tank.

The boy stood watching
the eternal’s
annihilation. Sadness
overpowering fervour.
Parents took
him home, promising
the next day
they’d buy him
a Superman doll.