Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Week

Seven poems compiled under this super-title. Each piece is based on a weekday.

(Of Weakness and its Relatives)

Samarthan was a man of imagined gift
To settle all human rift
From his squalid room of ragtag blinds
He advised all social kinds.

Sitting all day, he sucked on ciggies:
An unquenched fondness
For mamma mammal's mammaries,
Portrayed as grave deepness

No wonder then, the sheep flocked
Into his door never locked
They asked, they bargained, they took
Showering praise, his meat-hook

As and when he felt for own money
Hormones, home and taste
They assured him, he didn't need any
How could he, a God, go waste?

Somehow to him it sounded scriptural
With epic heroes, bonding ancestral
His life: a great sacrifice
Worldly comfort: shallow edifice

Thus he spent his Time, Samarthan
A self-made Nemesis
Till death a multi-marathon
Of imagined gift; and usefulness


You are not enough
I want more

Not for me granny's lullaby
I wanna rock

What's with your News, flatso?
Just tell me what's cool

Who cares for your Rural Brethren?
Give me Kareena's tips

Reassuring words of goodnight
Zzzzz! Sell me something!

Fauji Bhai, Vermicompost and Poetry
That's for Jats; and leftovers

But duets from the films are fine
And if you set them to Salsa

Wake up calls with Suprabhatam
What are you, a loser?

Your legacy, your language is fake
You're old, you're done

You are not enough.
I want more.

Frequency Modulation of a shifted pulse
Beating to the death throes of All India Radio


Sita Gita and Rita
Each a Senorita
Chota Mota and Hotta

Who to keep?
Who will weep?
Who will leap?

Sita want a Beta
Gita – a Sita-Heta
And Rita fulla Data

Put Sita in Royapettah
Make Gita mentally fittah
Get Rita a Computah

All fine Matrimony
Till Gita ate Antimony
Sita want More & Many
So Rita claim Alimony

What is this Mommy?
Couldn't it be easier, Trigamy?


Till, plant, sow, sweat
I built this nation:
A Democratic Republic no less
Sovereign with safe borders
A platform for every talent

My countrymen can tell the weather
As well as the next Tsunami
And ask the fisherfolk to stay
While the others are free
To take calls or make films

You know Raka, our village loafer?
He got a scholarship to study.
Good for him, he has the nerve
To make money; ok, at least
He runs the government

Some build bombs of importance
Too many produce children,
Who will continue the bloodlines.
Not all though, I am sad,
Get time off to play

Despite so many problems and gods
I feel we are a great country
With people, intelligence & freedom
Institutions & systems
Dreams, plans & capa...

Wait, what was I going to tell you?
Ah, yes! That this year too,
For all these fires in the bellies
We shall have food, for sure.

See, it's all done, it's all in place
The dams, canals, flyovers and SEZs
All we need now is a butterfly
To flap its wings in Brazil


Somehow it came to be, that
Felix from Guatemala
And Swathi from Srisailam
Ended up as neighbours

Felix, he loved her at once
While Swathi shrank in horror
But they had to co-exist
Somehow, in this strange country

They had tough laws and rules
Because of which Felix couldn't
Enter Swathi's home,
For which she was grateful

Felix was restless, he felt caged
And discussed this with Liu
A common friend of theirs
Who was on both their sides

Swathi felt outraged too; to top it,
A daily jamboree of locals
Would stare and laugh at them.
Were they linking us up?

Liu was a man of means, so
Accordingly, he arranged
"A-bird-a-day" for Felix, thus
Relieving Swathi from his advances

But it was all going nowhere
The Promised Land was barren.
Although Liu took good care,
They were both better off back home

Slowly it began to show on them:
Felix lost interest in birds;
Swathi now cuddled against him;
But there was no spark, only ennui

They no longer cared for the locals
Who, because they were home,
Would first laugh and then wonder
Why these were such losers

This was not acceptable to Liu;
No doubt he was their friend
But he had his word to keep
Of making something out of everybody

So one evening he came calling
They didn't understand what he meant
But out of habit, they trusted him
And went.

The locals knew, of goings-on of the Zoo
That Felix, the Guatemalan Wild Cat
And Swathi, the Indian Peacock
Went on Liu's Special Menu as Exotic Fries


Mukteshwar drank to his heart
Because Seenu poured it out
Tarannum, from lack of art
Had called him "Useless Lout"

Seenu a most-travelled man
With his cooking kit
From Minnesota to Bodhan
Feeding every film unit

So what if the rum spilt
He reminisced in pain
Wasn't it the table's guilt
Slipping its legs in rain
(Stupid weak table, he added)

The crowd lost it on TV
Real Madrid's one up
But it don't matter to his CV
This glittering European Cup

Tarannum had begged him, the wannabe
"Bistar Bichaoo?"
Now she (s)pouts in fame and cannabis
"Bastar Bachao!"

Mukteshwar chuckled and drank
To Seenu's technicolor prints
For, as The Family's think-tank
He had left his own testicular imprints


The tiny settlement of Chikka Shirasi
At once shot to fame
On account of a name
Tagged to Thimmu Doorvasi

"How the...?", the world wondered,
Could he make a statue grow?
Did he have God in tow?
They came, they saw and pondered

Though no one could penetrate,
Twas very much true
That the statue grew
Exactly at the universal human rate

The Powers set off bids for this piece
First to investigate
Then to dictate
But Thimmu stood firm, saying "Go Please"

This from a penniless native carver
Was too much, an insult.
Science can't be occult!
Nor can Thimmu, a torchbearer

So everyone argued, everyone fought
From Sydney to Budapest
Some for and some against
But none had Bahadur's this thought

He went and coaxed Thimmu's wife
With attention and sarees
And once, with his worries,
Into revealing the secret so rife

To be honest, she told all she knew
And that was all too
Thimmu could do
Of this desire in his blood and every sinew

He carved toys and the toys sold
Though they were his
They were not his
Was the sentiment that hit him cold

See Shyamala, he cried to his wife
This can't go on, I'll make a son
Our own, my next generation
And then, to a piece of wood, he gave his life

Monday, May 28, 2007

KG, YT, Mac, SS, PG and KK

Yesterday, when YT went to Top Inn for his evening
chai, he saw someone at his routine table. It was KG!
Yes, his university roomie who had made it big as a
writer. After the hoo-haa-bearhugging-reunion:

YT: So, what’s the fight between SS and PG about your
work man? Something to do with kids being arrows and
parents being bows… I mean, SS says kids are free,
but PG disagrees. What’s your take?

KG: Ah that one! That’s one of my favourite passages,
got me lots of fans. My take on that is, that while on
the one hand, in the contemporaneous context of
seismically shifting geo-political collective
psychologies, young…

YT: (glares knowingly, like he used to at the

KG: Oh man, you got me! Baadkow, you still doesn’t
gets it, do you? No wonder you’re still stuck in your

YT: Tell me man, I’m really curious, what’s your

KG: Seriously? Ok, see, it’s like this, well…

YT: …

KG: Well, I don’t know man! Do you have kids?

YT: No

KG: Nor do I! So how the hell should I know man?

YT: But it sounded nice and convincing, what you

KG: Yeah thanks! See, that’s the whole point about
writing. If it sounds cool, there WILL be something
to it. Invariably. Ok? I mean, if it came out of me,
it came from either my body or soul or whatever,
right? So, it WILL mean SOME thing. If it sounds
really, really cool, it probably came from the mind
ok? After all, the mind’s the deepest thingie, the
core, the ultimate…

YT: The soul is supposed to be the deepest.

KG: Yeah, fine, whatever. The point is - call it luck
or inborn talent or grace - I figured that I could
write cool stuff... things that could swing any which
way. So I just went in and got the whole contacts, PR,
marketing jig right… I mean, the copies really fly

YT: So, you don’t really need to be clear in your head
or something?

KG: Mmm, it depends… actually no. See, my experience
is like this. When I write something cool, the
marketing guys get people to read it ok? I mean,
really, really bright people. And you know what? I
figured that no two bright kids interpret anything in
the same way ok? So what happens? They meet up, they
talk about my piece, and hey, before you know, they’re
fighting about it man!

YT: Yeah, I've noticed.

KG: Then what happens? There’s this dumb kid in the
circle ok? He sees these bright kids fighting over my
piece ok? Now, he’s feeling left out and desperately
wants to fit in. So what does he do? Runs to the
bookstore and picks up my book! That’s how the copies
fly man!

YT: It can't all be about copies! What if the two
bright kids met you and asked you questions?

KG: That’s the part I love the most! I talk to them
how I talk in public ok? “My take on that is, that
while on the one hand, in the contemporaneous context
of seismically shifting geo-political collective
psychologies, young…”

YT: But that’s…

KG: It’s crap to you dude. Not to them. To them, I
said something that they couldn’t entirely figure, so
it must be something deep ok? So they go around
hunting for some ‘hidden meanings’ and you know what,
they find them! Not only that, they come back and
educate me too! That’s when I pat them on their backs,
and hey, I got myself fans for life man!

KG and YT laugh aloud.

YT: Anyway, be happy it’s only SS and PG. Had it been
that Jain motherfucker, he’d have gotten you jacked in
jail for “creating creative works that create enmity
between various sections of society”. You heard that
one, didn’t you?

KG: Yeah man, from Mac.

YT: Mac? How’s he doing? How did he get to know?

KG: Mac’s ok man. He’s shifted to Dubai. He got sad hearing
this. He heard it from SS, who heard it from KK, who
heard it from you.

YT: KK? Hey, you know what, KK’s running a marathon!

KG: Marathon? Oh man, that reminds me! Man, do you
know where I can rent out a pair of sneakers, shorts,
a number-plated t-shirt and an oxygen cylinder for a

YT: Are you mad? What for?

KG: Mmm… see I gotta be at the Kukatpally-Dilsukhnagar
Marathon tomorrow, so…

YT: What the… what’s this marathon for?

KG: Come on man, I’m the brand guy for the show! It’s
an effort to alleviate the trauma caused by the social
stigma attached to non-circumstantial…

YT: (glares knowingly)

KG: Baadkow, you doesn’t gets it, do you? Look, I
gotta go and figure out the sneakers, ok? Garmeshwar
will whip me otherwise. See you around man! Get a life
man, ok?

YT: Ok dawg, got it! See you around!

KG rushes out of Top Inn, but returns after a few

KG: Hey man, I need a favour, ok? You won’t tell
anyone I talk this way, will you?




KG: Kahlil Gibran

SS: Suja Swaminathan

PG: Puneet Gupta

KK: Kavita Krishna

Mac: Maqbool Fida Hussain. Indian painter constantly
harassed by the Indian Moral Brigade. Recently fled to
Dubai with a Hindu fatwa on his head.

Jain: Whatsisname Jain, a prototype whatsisname from
the Indian Moral Brigade. Got famous by vandalising
classroom work of a Vadodara fine arts student.

Garmeshwar: Parmeshwar Godrej. Hot Indian Socialite.

YT: Yours Truly



This is a work of fiction. Really. Sure, all the names
are real, but their characters have been fictionalized
to be deliberately misrepresented and juxtaposed in
incongruous circumstances to establish the obligatory

Time Warp

From birth, on this land
Stood a giant mound
Of shell, ooze and sponge;
Above clouds, beyond horizons

At its base, inside the pit
Lived the two-toothed priest
Swaying, laughing, blessing.
Ageless and Tireless

When inquired of the mound
He offered samosa and toddy
But never an answer
“Go find out” he said

None cared, none dared
Some out of respect,
All out of fear.
Until the wrinkled hag

She set out on foot
Towards the eastern Sun,
Walking spellbound days on
And re-arrived at the pit

“Ten days! What did you see?”
“Ten days? Nay, ten minutes!
See my wrinkles are gone
My pulse is even, I’m a maiden!

Who saw those apples
With surgical stitches”
They laughed and laughed,
The priest and the hag
Partaking in samosa and toddy

Then it was the chieftain
Who re-arrived at the pit,
Having heard from the maiden
Of the miraculous mound

“Ten days! What did you see?”
“Ten days? Nay, ten minutes!
See my clot is gone
My heart is aflow, I’m a singer

Who saw the purplest sky
Resting vertically”
They laughed and laughed,
The priest and the chieftain
Partaking in samosa and toddy

“Ants weightlifting atoms”
“Squirrels making engineering drawings”
“Fish agitating for land”
“Hyenas tilling fields”

Thus it went with the ensuing hordes
Who followed the unwritten rules
All gained something and all saw something
What only they could

One day the New Man arrived
On his alphanumeric bike
Covered in gear
Revealed in mission

“What a waste” he said
“Of ten precious days!
I shall show you dopes
Profits of productive science"

The priest, as usual
Swayed, laughed and blessed
Never siding
Never doubting

Without a moment’s delay
The bike left
At the speed of sound
To conquer the mound

“Ten minutes! What did you see?”
New Man said, "Nothing!
Who has the time?"
And planted the chequered flag

At that moment the mound shrank
To human scale
When it became evident to all
That He was a Snail

Gazing into the priest’s eye,
From the moist antenna,
The Snail emitted an audio wave,
One to be visible henceforth

Worldwide, all sets
Received this broadcast
Of a forgotten language
“Drsh Khwalrum Asnm”

Everyone laughed and worried
When the children said,
“'Drsh Khwalrum Asnm' means
'My Time has come'”

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Top Inn

(Top Inn is an Irani Cafe-cum-eatery in Hyderabad)

Rosewood colored tea
Lands with a thud

The new boy's interpretation
Of my Medium Kadak


2 nos. Yellow
3 nos. Red
2 nos. Off-White
All lined up in beer mugs

Rajasthani ethic
Serving juice
To confused Hyderabad


In the awe-struck gaze
Of the 8-year old
The resolve to be
A future smoker


Bat-wielding boys
Storm in to plunder
The afternoon's water supply
And argue simultaneously
The umpire's decision


Meridian School Bus
Cramps the single lane

But everything quietens
And everyone fixes

As she springs out with a smirk
This buxom 8-year old Woman


Chennai Masala Dosa
Hampshire Cream Bun
Surati Chaat
Chinese Manchurian

Dining Hall devours
World Kitchen's vomit


Daily gym-mates
Reunite with high-fives
Admiring each other's
Maa ke Loudeys


Phone rings always
With deadlines and disputes
But I hang in here
At the edge of my seat no. 1


Water truck has arrived
The oldest boy orders us
To clear out bikes
Relishing his moment under the sun


The rampant Fan
Circulates smoke
As well as Rafi


I cringe to sit at the table
Strewn with left-overs of
Gluttonous strangers

A small boy with a rag and tub
Clears it with the unhesitant calmness
Of an Aghori

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ringmaster and Clown

Thou shalt not be the first
In any queue
Ok! I will master my destiny

Thou shalt not meet another man
Identically dressed
Ok! I will find a soul-mate

Thou shalt lose within a week
Every new pen
Ok! I will keep my word

Thou shalt not use the other hand
To brush teeth
Ok! I will think out of the box

Thou shalt find funny
Another language
Ok! I will live and let live

Thou shalt believe you look like
Your mirror image
Ok! I will be myself

Grrr! Thou shalt never comprehend
This Show
Huh? Ok! I will make my own film

Fool and Dog

Fool would drive to 37th milestone
Dog in tow, for 5am sunshow

Disembarking there he would adorn
Dog and Fool, with blindfold of wool

Both then would proceed without caution
To netherside, across black tide

Once there they would open to all
Dog his throat, Fool his coat

A minute thence would start real business
Pluck weed, pluck flower, pluck root

Till 60th minute don't rest pluck pluck all
Mmm! plenty, plenty, today's bounty

Satisfied they would play game of "Statue"
Dog "Statue!", Fool "Statue!"

Game would end on fly-past of them gnats
Relief, but belief

Business then would be to pack bags
With weed, with flower, with root

Standing there Fool would adorn
Dog and Fool, with blindfold of wool

Both then would proceed without caution
To hitherside, across black tide

Fool would drive to 38th milestone
Make U-turn, to return

At home all through remaining day
Set weed flower root, on door shower and boot

This they did till Fool's 81st year
Why? But why? They had asked Fool and Dog
I can't say, he would say
Fool with this peculiar habit

This they did till Fool's 81st year
On his deathbed, he died

Dog without pause continued these duties
Not for duty, not for respect

This Dog did till Dog's 96th year
The longest ever dog, the solemost cog

On Dog's deathbed they asked But Why?
I can't say, he said
"But atleast I learnt to drive"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Burma Bazaar Anthem

Raze The Ant
And Race A Car
So we seen, so we seen

Fry The Bird
And Fly A Plane
So we seen, so we seen

Knife The Fish
And Dive A Sub
So we seen, so we seen

Keep The Wed
And Bed A Keep
(Chorus with clapping, laughing, whistling and dancing)
So we seen, so we done

The First don't last
When Fake counter Feat
So you see, so you see

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Who shouts wins

A poet's predicament
Is that of a Crow:

"Am I to your detriment?
Or help you grow"

"Am I but an increment?
Or a garrulous flow"

"Do I fly off the firmament?
Or just walk slow"

For we can talk and debate
Subject and predicate
Heart, soul and intellect
Rough and delicate

All depends if the statement
Is above or below


Are irony and paradox
Different as rabbit from fox?

Rabbit, adorable ball of fluff
So delicious meatpuff

Fox, abhorrent cousin cur
So not my meal sir

Then so it is with Humans
That what they call love
They eat.
The rest is merely
Window dressed thought

Why my dog should go to school

2230 hrs.


Having finished their Sunday dinner, the residents are lazily bracing themselves up for the following day. Those who don't have to go to work are drinking, speeding down the roads and trying to get into The Times Of India.

Taj Krishna is doing its vociferous bit, hosting a Tambola for zealots.

I have to bathe. Just a few more steps and I'll be home.

My dog, sapped by the day's heat, has dozed off at the gate, unmindful of the passing cars, which he would otherwise abuse wholeheartedly.

Suddenly, he snaps to life, launching an audio-visual assault on the newly-arrived smell and sight.

I walk in amused at his stupidity, for I have only gotten myself a Ramu-Shamu haircut.


Grant this otherwise noble creature
An English teacher
To teach English
And foil rubbish

Otherwise this noble creature
Grant an English teacher
To foil English
And teach rubbish

Monday, October 24, 2005

A hesitant debut

Am trying this thing out, like a million others must be at this very time. If you come across this and find nothing to take away, do excuse me. Thanks.