Relief is Coming

Long lost. Long lost.
On the matter of peace-
Befooled in the arms of the beloved-
If she were so.

Rankling. Rankling.
Dusting the rib cage-
Pitily wheezing again.
Probably Pain-

Breath is body.
Haste is body.
Sex is body.
What is love?

Nowhere resides
the soul. Life,
Armoried, with eternal worries-
Relief is coming in death.

His Dream

When he climbed upon his usual bed
after the noon meal, summer time,
the memories of his unusually long life
didn’t come out to render him a shade,
console him with the dream of a bicycle.
Rather he saw his dead sisters had
appeared from the crypt of his old sorrows
and hanged themselves from the roof;
squirming their vapour bodies, wiggling
their shadowy limbs in the air like they
couldn’t wait any longer to anoint him.

Appropriate not to repent then, he thought:
this, going from nowhere to nowhere, really
an abrupt dream between the dreamlessness,
mingled with blood, bone and the vagaries
of light, shadows and the economics of life.
Why worry then, with the making and seizing
of thoughts and the Sense of I: an aloof
property of the body at best: an unnecessary
burden, till the sense dies, till the old sisters
vanish in the meaningless waft of sky?
With this hope he opened his eyes
not to see the same orphaned dream again.


Sadness comes to remind me of death.
The world after I am gone
is the same world;
where the children are playing-
in the indifferent garden of eucalyptus trees-
and waiting to grow up and
to go to a dance;
at the midnight’s den.
Oh, where the butterflies will be sprouting-
Oh, where the brave will be weak at the knees-
Then, when the ambivalent sons and daughters
will be gulping down beer together
at the end of a particularly hard time
on the dance floor-
the wily trees will be falling over each other
and giggling, and whispering in vain,
“Will it, will make them immortal?”

Known River

(The legend has it that a little boy named Nachiketa found a way to the Death-God’s house to ask Him about life, after life and rebirth. The legend also claims that he got his answers.)

“Before you go,’
The buffalo god said,
‘Know this, child, know-

A time will come so,
Sleep instead
Of your limbs, will grow.

Friends and foes-
In a wooden burnt bed
Will silently stow

You away. And you’ll row
A boat. In a river of red,
Batting with a strange paw of a crow.

Howlingly will glow-
(Hell-bound, you’ll see) The fire of head
Burning, fingers and of toes-

Closing your eyes and heavenly you’ll know-
The oil of virtue that the god has this made,
The womb of a mother, where the child grows-
To the day of the light and a warm smell of bread.”

Death by a Tram

The girl did not hear it, the lonely girl,
Wrapped in the winter in a Kashmiri shawl.
Biddy nostrils in white fog smelled a musk
Of a strange, burly man who softly asked,
Come to the woods, girl, there we laugh
Soaked in the moon, to the sounds of harp
Dizzy we dance to the frisks of life.

A bolo dance, under the spell of a knife.
Splaying your boa skirt, swaying you in sleep
Over the stones, atop a stone of the deep
Piercing your hollow in a gurge of blood.
Merry men stray where in merry men’s flood
Floating in a smell of the crude things done.

The scent of an icky glue in the beret sun
Came to her nostrils and stirred her up,
Deaf to a cranky Borg in cold stirrups.
It screamed, “Bloody hell!” Screeched for a halt.
A witness told the TV, “It’s the girl’s fault.”
Hit by a tram, torn, quietly she bled.
Lying in a morgue, silly, dreamless and dead.

Hanging ( or, the ride of a selfish lover )

Through the trapdoor below –
Two filly eyes threw a soft light on me.
If that’s gratitude –
Fancy aloof?
Damned-damned, I will be.

Bless you!
But the child will die.
From the daybreak to the wrought noon,
Heave and heave,
As I leave –

The road to the woods is –
Cold, old mossy, immense lonely – Cassandra’s know.”
The door splits.
He floats –
In a soft glow.

Immortality and Other Fantasies

One of those mornings, Indranil A. was in good mood.

He looked up at the ceiling of the hostel and asked, “What is life?”

No help came from above.

He waited for a second and looked at me.

I was in no mood to help either.

He closed his eyes and said, “Life is…(a brilliant pause)

…till we die.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Last night Fermat came into my dream.

I was wrestling with John Nash’s paper on ‘Non-cooperative Games’.

My intelligence couldn’t decipher it. My vanity couldn’t leave it.

“Too late to understand these things”, I mumbled.

“I see”, Fermat nodded his big head.

“Don’t quit though. There’s something there that just doesn’t perish”, he was still nodding.

[Non-cooperative Games, Dissertation, John Nash, May 1950]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve it through not dying.”

Thus spake Woody Allen. He figured it out.

A few cell biologists, bio-engineers and robotic engineers are joining the fray. Or so I heard.

Should I wait for them to succeed? Or should I go a way that has an equal promise?

 [TED talk by Juan Enriquez on ‘The next species of human’]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe,

Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam,

Urvarukamiva Bandhanan,

Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat ll

Aum ! We worship and adore you, O three-eyed one, Shiva! You are the fragrance of life, one who nourishes us, restores our health, and causes us to thrive. Please free us from attachment and death, and do not withhold immortality.