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Showing posts from October, 2012

Winter checks in...

This time of the year
Leaves depigment...
Green turn yellow...
Aging cabs
On streets
Like they go...
In fits and starts...
They just go...For the new to set in
New cream...
Napthalene balls
Cocooned sweatshirts
Mist on cheeks...
And pickles in jars...
Rubbing palms
A bonfire
Strings plucked
Sitting on a chair...
And vapour on glass
Smoky finger sketch
Lantern shadows
Screeched through wooden gate...

the climb...a pilgrimage...

Stopped where the tyre marks
marked the end...
the slushy turmoil here ceased
and from here felt like only could climb the cliff-
a strong one...singleheaded
standing like a pillar
to support the fate...
stood looking up
its determined look
and then hammered into it steely hooks
to slip rope through them-
lifeline...
needed to go up to meet the sacrosanct
the Divine...
pressed toes leather covered to hold
the overwhelming downward g-force
clawed like animal-a fourlegged spider
teeth clung together
braced all muscular pull
viscosity of blood reminding me- the fool
the climb upward is only vertical
chimney of heart forewarned the Fall...But then the sky...unseen blue
the dusty torn spiked shoe...
the wind from north with scent of saffron...
His tempting calm driving me alone...
His eyes closed to see the universe
His folded palms on knees kept unshivered...
Sent thousand kilowatt electromotive force...
And simply couldn't alter the course...
Kept on moving dragging the burden
Of …

riding down...a transition...

Rode down
the road ... the one
which took off from the city's heart
and went deep
into a country
an awesome side of me...the pond...green
like newly wed young maid's
bosom just been admired
in terms which love could shower...
a replenishment of eyes...
blue sky
without ladders or concrete beams...
and trees...
upon which suspended dreams
hang forever loose-
dreams and myths
from grandmother's girdle...
An old owl's tale...
and stories of prince
running through darkest shadows
to meet his dame
held captive in a tower-
from where her hair braided she lowered...
and a pathway...
narrow meandering one
through bamboo thickets...
longish leaves
with brownish midriff
from which several lines ran to the fringe of life-
drinking it binge...Rode down
the road...
the one from the city's coyote nights
to a dawn...
an uprising...

twenty years on...

you told me it took
twenty years for you
to write that few pages
of your life's unfinished book...
you told me it was a gift
that you possessed within
for two decades nonetheless...A vision...
of a pool
and madness lurking
all around...
beatings of drum...
cannibal laughter
people smeared with blood
baying for more...
and a baby elephant
badly injured...
half sunk into water
and you going near the baby...to save her...
but you couldn't...
you're not supposed to act
like a saviour...a matter of fact...
but you kissed that baby
her small drooping eyes...
you hugging her
profusely cried...
and the pachyderm
on her way to another world
opened only once
her eyes...so dark
and whispered into your ear
'you got nothing to fear';Those words...
they rang forever in you
and you tried to write them on pages
in prussian blue...you told me it took
two decades for to open that book
and write only a few
pages with prussian blue...

bitter gourd...

Told you sugar
don't pour on me
so much of sweet
Told you blood glucose level could shoot
up the meter...having a history of diabetes...You heard
and the next day me sent
Bitter gourd...
with chilli powder sprinkled...I had that
for you said
that embittered pungent thing
had your soul upturned
your essential being...and as I swallowed the lump
grimacing
trying hard
I saw your face
your mischief...
and love perhaps
that under syrup of sugar
you keep
for special ones perhaps...
a special course...
instead of glucose
bitter bitter gourd...

hey!sister...don't cry...

when you called me 'dada'
do you know really where you have me placed?
Remember your eyes...
your red teary eyes
which spoke in terms of void,
nothingness...
so sheer...
so overwhelming
was your suppressed cry
that I assured...
I would try...
to be...
your brother...true brother in arms...
to help you tide
over life's bumpy ride...
a brother true...
to make you learn secrets
of flying kites...preparing strings
with broken glass and glue...
to make you jump to catch
that low tree branch
and push you hard to climb
upto the tallest place...
from where you would be able to see
long unbroken horizon...a key
to living it wide...
and when the evening would sing
homeward bound songs in the breeze
and cattle from grassylands would return
I would for you surely bring
a paper wheel
which would go round and round
-spinning a magical charm
upon you...
and I know you would run
through the open green with the wheel
held in your hand spinning fast whitened blades...
I would help you live…

Neellohit...(a tribute to Sunil Gangopadhyay,)

What will Nira do today?
Will she cry herself hoarse?
Will she thump her breast
For her Sunil is no more?
What will she do?Who would tell her
In lucid verse
The hand that once touched her
Would never commit a sin...Who would say that to her?
Who would?
Her Sunil...
The hippie...
The punk...
The erratic youth
Who never grew old...
Died so young
At heart...That one of the three
Drunkards...
Wandering souls...
At night of seventies
When the city bled
Only red...
On tramlines...
The trio would uncork poems
So full of life
And also of bullets
And three naught three fire...
O!
That undying Neellohit!
That sprite!

Anjali...

Yes...yes...
I know
It is not the right place
To stare at you...unblinked
But you bloomed
There in the crowd
Like a lotus with milky pink petals...
The microphone blared...
Early morn kissed your bleached hair...
And the smell of marigold mixed
With sandal wood and incense sticks
Kept me on the ground fixed...
Looking at you...
Chants from cloth red covered book...
The holy incantations...
Fleeting happiness on perennial motion...
'Don't throw petals here and there...
Put them into the basket with care...'
Someone announced over the address system...
I stood like a dumbed liar...
Cars passed...bikes hooted...
Moveless memories to me perfectly suited
Came down in forms of petals
Yellow...orange...white...pink...red...
Placed gently in the cane basket...assorted...

creme de la creme...

i like it creamy...
a layer of love
on the top...
and underneath a light liquor
through which light could pass
only perceptible to me...
the drunkard...me...
the lover...me...
chocolatey...she...
i like it...
heart signs on top...
arms in arms...
a big soft dollop milky white...
and bubbles on the rise...
forthing out...

when that evening you smiled...

and you smiled...
the first time
under the soft soddy light...
that evening you smiled
looking at me...o your deep oceanic eyes...
lined by kohl...
and red accompaniment of lustre...
on your silken smooth lips...
and that mole on your left eyebrow...
my birth and death!
and you smiled
that evening under the canopy of starry sky
and transparent blue dark on you
like wavy water flow all over
giggling with fondness...
you smiled...

come...we join us...

come let's join hands...
there might be several seas
and gulfs and straits
between you and me...
you somewhere in the middle of corn fields
and me on the city street-
still come...we join us...
you send me the whispers
of corns in the northern breeze...
i send you flags aflutter...
symbolic of urban colors...
you send me shiuli...chatim...five winged leaves...
tugged by the cool flow -life's seeds
like autumnal joy just freed...
i would show you how kids throng
at the icecream vendor's shop,
people with eager eyes on wait in queues long-
their anticipatory hope...
streamlined by thick ropes
on two sides of roads
manned by traffic guards so busy and tensed...
jostling mob, cameras clicking flashes
to frame in revelry so jampacked...dense...
and numerous billboards hanging from blocks
chains of blue and yellow dots like cascading stars...
and rustle of newly bought sarees and bangles...
Hooks of alluminium getting entangled...
lovely couples seeking lonely spots
to kiss away…

Remembering her...my mother...this festive season...

Waking up with beats of drums
And slokas chanted
Principally helping a sacrifice...
Fire red orange like potent life
And leaves and flowers...
Sprinkled time to time...
Wooden plates full of sweets
And eyes closed in tune with gracious hymns...I discover the festive blues...
By not finding you...
Nowhere...But then
See you everywhere...
See you with a stick
-cotton attached to its tip
Decorating your heels
With red streak...
See you
In red bordered white dhakai
Covering your head...
Gold bangles on...
A tingling sound...
And red round dot
On your forehead...
Resplendent...
See you
Before the flame...
Offering your prayers...
Mother mine!
See you...
Everywhere...
An image
Of the goddess...
See you
By not seeing you...

An avenue and me...

The soft golden afternoon sun
And a gilded pathway with trees on both flanks
A sleepy avenue...
Some cars parked for ages
Beside the railings...
Leaves fallen all through the day
accumulated on windshields...rails...footpath...
Upon trodden made crumpling noise...
And I came back with accumulated leaves also...
Of images...
So true...Probably after few days
This lonely avenue would be full of lights...sounds...
All these cars would busily ply
Through roads streets boisterous...
Then also a lot of images would be born...
But perhaps then I would not be here alone
To collect them one by one
With a lot of care...
I would not be there...
Alone...

from memory...

i miss
that piazza
that cluster of palms
a sight of green sudden
in an open space...
and that statue
of the navigator
compass in his one hand
maps scrolled in the other...
and that little book shop-
piccolo negozio...
and that old man
with glasses on his nose...
a wrinkled cobwebbed look
hands that always shook...
urban paralysis setting in...
dense air as smooth as mozerella cream...
walls with spray paint blue
and little tents selling leather bags and shoes...
the three shields full of epiphanies
perched on the top of a gate made of stone...
people sitting as mob...
people all alone...
on benches under the blue sky
criscrossed by wires over tram lines...
pigeons at play near a gallery
Jesus standing muted overlooking a valley
of cars scooters bikes bound by time
a big copper bell under a dome that chimes
slightly in the breeze carrying jingle of falling dimes...
i miss that piazza
that cluster of palms
a sudden green
in the open space...

mahalaya...

Image
still remember
quite precariously
the night before Mahalaya...
me sleeping by my dad
and a radio near our head
a small one...black...with knobs rounded...
at three thirty or four in the morn
can't exactly recall now...
would in half sleep know
Mahalaya has come...
the radio would come to life...
the sombre voice...
of Birendra kishore
on air...
Mahishashuramardini...
he would narrate the story
the lore...the tale
so mythical...
how the devi...
the powerincarnate
would dress up in armour...
in shields and spear...
she would dress up for the occasion to tear
the demonic serpent...
to kill him by her empowered gait...
she would,being blessed by gods  stand up like a spirit...
like a spectacle almost...
and then my mom would wake me up
from my half sleep...
she would me take
to the shiuli tree near the rear gate
of our humble house...
where white little blossoms were always found spread
like a white flowery carpet...
she would pluck flowers from the tree...
I would jump around laughin…

A lazy sunday noon arrives...

A lazy sunday noon
Dripping through
The open window
Like a landscape
Comes...
Of all the pictures
Yours only strongly emerge...
Your Green Earth shower gel
Tubed...placed neat by the nozzle
Upon a glass niche...
Your wet towel on the ring
Your bathed freshened lemony feel...
And a song heard so often
In wakeful state...daydreams...
Emanating from bathroom...
In your softest self indulgent style
Only stirs the idle air...Another lazy sunday sets in...
Sunday brunch next
You and me...
Face to face...
Crumbs of bread...lots of fruits...
Peach...pineapple...oranges...
And honey kept in small table tubs...
Wooden properly carved...
on a wheeled trolley...
You...
And me...
And a sunday noon so lazy
And noiseless like a country bunglow white...
Aloof...observant...
By a tree standing giant
And a graveled path...
Going from the house straight to the forest...
And perhaps a stream rippling nearby...
A lazy sunday noon arrives...

A martini evening ...

The rain was then weaving designs
On the window glass...
Inside...
By the fireplace
Martini evening was setting in
Within him...
And the orange red glow
From those wooden chunks
Half burnt shivered
Like a kitten caught cold...Just facing him
He felt he saw her...
She in black saree
Black blouse...
So deep...
He looked at her face...
Her red lips...
Her perfect bow shaped brows...The shades of orange and red
Upon her hills and rivery plains
Played a game...of hide and seek...
And in half illumed state
He saw how
A glittering piece was born
Right under the black saree transparent
Upon her navel...
And also saw
Thousands in number
Butterflies
Coming into the room
To sit on her arms-
Spread like soft ribbons
Of silk...
And the colors from their wings
Fell on her...
The couch...
The floor...
The carpet...

Two street cars...

The two streetcars bound for
Seperate destinations wide and far
Sometimes stop facing each other
They just stop to exchange flowers
And pleasantries...knowing they will
Soon be gone...one to the plains and the other to the hill...Still...everyday at appointed hours
The two street cars they have a brief stopover
They stop on their respective tracks
They gossip,share their woes and cares...
And they start again down their path...
One to the plains green...
Other to the hills not seen...

Parting...

Leaving me in a dream
You slip...
Into the crowd
Of the city
Every evening;And I stranded like a child
orphaned under the corrugated tin shed
Of the busstop
Keep on looking at you
Going away...
Slipping into a pandemonium
Of cars,trams,crowd...Neon signs flashing
with consummate ease
Remind me
My foolishness...
Those flashbulbs seem to tease...
My present occupation;several minutes later
When the frozen moments sink in
The metal road dividers mock
At me...
Telling me
My road will never bend
Towards the route you take
Every evening
As you slip...Finally with injured soul
Annihilated mind
I take the stride
Back...

After ten years...

'Is it my fault that I conceived late?'
She questioned back in her defense
Of the poem that arrived like fate
Ten years after in the arid desert
When it rained steadily for enough days and hours
To sweep all the grains of sand to flow down
The channels of water when every bit of her drowned...
Till the earth hidden so far under tonnes of sand
Came to sight...a vast secret fertile land...
And as it rained and rained bringing algae and moss...
Much like life first in this planet did sprout...
And when after rains the sun lent its warmth
And the temperature met the level optimum...
Her womb of earth felt first the wobbly thing...
Life!
Life at last in her destiny did bring...
Ten years!
My God!
Ten years exactly it took
For her to get in her belly that form which shook
And told her in simple movements...wriggling ways
That time has finally come for her to sing songs of happy days...
To download nursery rhymes from the ethereal world web...
For her child she thought to save...
All…

in my last birth...i had been...

perhaps I was part of that land...
evenly spread ...full of corns...
and perhaps in my last birth
i had been here...
this particular field...
here i had perhaps tilled
clods of hardened soil...
broken hairline fractures...
all over the place...
and walked three miles to bring water
for the plants...those little saplings...
danced they surely in the breeze...
perhaps I at the dusk...
used to walk through the borders...
the cleaved path...
I walked in crimson light...
the moist evening then also came
to me to breathe her last whispers
in my ears...
perhaps...
here...right here...
in this field
I saw the mist
laying her sleepy bed
so cool...so soft...so wide...
I had seen heavenly sprite
embodying every grain...
with love devoid of pain...
then there would be a rise of a dirge...
a murmur would in graded chapters emerge...
little lifeforms in shapes of gnats...
and glowworms...
would play all night in this field
coming in swarms...
they would sit...fly...and chase
from one leaf of a pla…

we...two friends...me and white fairy...

we are two friends...
me and my white fairy...
she comes to me too often
at unexpected hours...quite sudden...
last night when I thought I was in sleep
she knocked twice before peeped
and I was in a state of surprise
but smiled still knowing that she never comes without a prize...
'what have you brought for me tonight?'
I asked...staring at her halo bright
the encircled head...
the flowing cascade...
She smiled...
so soft...so gentle touch...
and opened her clutch...
a flower...simple and white
like her...very much a soul's delight...
the flower bloomed before me...
her petals opened slow for me to see
how yellow pollens in her core she carried...a treasure
she showed me the germination of life...at leisure...
she showed me chromosomal helix spread...
she made me make out my passage of moments and days-
how much of time I spent bodily imprisoned...
how much of light penetrated my soul every season...
how many images of lanes,streets,balconies...
how many pictures of electr…

a dussera morn...

i distinctly remember
once waking up in a cloudy morn
like today...got the scent of rain
falling somewhere not so far away...
and that day was before dussera
the chill got bold in the air
biting into my bones...i shivered
for you i got a strange fever...
to get you...to see you...to get your touch
i was burnt within by a desire such...
not something that could be termed as lust
but a soft gentle pining for your hands...
to get the smell of your alien lands...
to read a story with you together lying side by side...
to paint a picture together of a full moon tide...
to stand just beside you close
on a pier jutted into a river...a photographic pose...
to watch with you how water of a stream flows...
to embark into a hall of cosmic slideshows...
to fly paper planes with you through the air
moist vapour turning into beads on our hair...
to climb with you that iron spiral stairs of the tower
to stand aloof with only you,from the city teethed and bare...knowing perhaps at the evening the pyr…

memoir of a shopper...

thought to call you
restrained from it
knowing you are on the city street
busy in a shopping spree
that saree...
this capri...
that pair of dhoti pants...
those bunch of pencils...eyeliners brown and black...
that polish for your nails...
those pillow covers with images of hills and plains
flooded by blossoms pink red yellow green
that flat container with UV protection cream...
a pair of ear rings with red stones rimmed by copper...
a shirt white and soft for your husband and recent lover...
a pink dress for your niece...
a peacock blue satin piece...and perhaps a sigh for me...
left in the festive air...
lacing the sunny afternoon sense of glee...
as your eyes suddenly catch while you pass
a coffee shop front table by the glass
and a tumbler left unattended by an open book
smoke curling up soft as you stop awhile and look...

silent note...

I think I have made a silent note
Of the smell of chatim in the air... how it floats
And also of the mild chilly nip
Into which yellow streetlights dip
and the conical luminance getting dense
 falling like a shower on my heart's barbed fence...
And also by chance on my palms like a mirth
Perhaps noted a song, waiting for nocturnal birth...

Perhaps I have found it right
How in glittery black saree, the night-
Walks the ramp of the sky crossing hip
Before I die in my autumnal sleep...
And see so many shades of you
Laughing, smiling,leaving enough cues
For me to lay awake all through my prosaic plane...
Till the whistle of the dream bound train
Leaves the night air bestirred with a tale
Of you winning it all without fail...


I have made a silent note...
Of songs never coming out of your throat
I have, perhaps, observed quiet
How like beads of your sweat
My little hopes of foolish love rest
On your shoulders bare, fully blessed!








occhio della mente

Been there perhaps
Where the waves lapped
On the rocks beside the park
and the blue sky dotted by larks...
Heard in my ears
'La mamme..' the song of mothers
Salvatore Toto on fullest song
At the tree-lined Antonio Dohrn...
And seen how those street posts
Curved, bent like minstrels on repose
Offered silent prayers to the sky...

But dreams always in dreams die...
I know...I know Isabella mine!
Pledged you to the God once
Freed you with the flock of white swans...
Sent you away from me
To the rocks, rivers, blue blue sea...