Thursday, December 28, 2006

lifeline

lifeline

aging cells
blistered hands
blocked arteries
graying hair
forgetful mind
creased forehead
bulging waist
empty vaults...
...mean nothing at all
as long as the lifeline is red!

Friday, October 27, 2006

blissful slither

pipes
hello
are you listening?

last night i talked,
got stuck in holes and pipes
and got so scared
and worried
bout being stuck forever

the holes are a little difficult to describe
but the pipes,
eh, the pipes,
were like a labyrinth;
a live maze if you like
engulfing everything
that dared came in their way -
intentionally; or as in my case
unfortunately

i recall
a serpentine, bright grey
rod of a pipe
coiling around my ankles
and slithering up

eh.

the cold, sandy feel
of it rubbing and scraping
my skin;
the hair on my neck
stood at attention
ominously

the dragon of the pipe
continued the ascent,
its grip tightening with each inch
its texture harshening with each passing moment

within minutes
i felt a cold fibre-steel arm
around my neck
then
it probed, gently yet firmly
at my mouth

i was numb

but i calmed as the now straw thin pipe
entered my mouth and
a most fragrant,
spiced
full-bodied
aged
wine hit my palate

paradise!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

cats and dogs in my head...

dogdream

last night, this morning actually...
this picture flashed in my head
in a dream...i woke up,
scratched my head and went back to sleep...
voila!
the same image cropped up again,
and again a third time.

it seemed strange to dream
of a dog-king and a cat-queen
in a psychedelic reddish room

a dog-king, with an ivy-leaf green fur
dotted with bottle-green spots

the colour of the cat-queen?
hmmm...i don't really remember accurately
but i presume it must be snow white...

if you know what it might mean, write to me...
otherwise just enjoy a little kitschy piece of art.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

dream on, boy!

dream on boy
the little one
had a dream
his first dream; yet;
awake, wide-eyes
puffy wide-eyes
still not focused on reality;
small, sturdy but unstable legs
walking but not on ground, yet; the face,
a mixture of mixed feelings
about this strange, new phenomenon -
a dream -
what was that?
where was that?

"in the night,"
he beamed with pride and confusion,
"i inside water.
i cry,
yudhi cry inside water."

i looked fascinated
what a new feeling must it be
for such a little person
already an individual
slipping out of our hands
like smooth indonesean sand.

another child somewhere not so far away
must have had his first dream too...
of a cup of drinking water
of a mother's bosom
of a bowl brimming with fat grains of rice
of a sugar-coated almonds
of crème brulèe

i wish for each child to learn to dream
of good things
of desires that unfulfilled
because of reasons that need not be explained
even if momentary,
a subconscious thought brings happiness
transient or not

three cheers to a morsel of joy, then!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

sleep, baby, sleep

soft wisps of hair
lie anguished at fingertips

strands, and strands
obscure the beautiful face

the bosom,
up heaving with slow, breaths of sleep,
stands guard to her heart

delicate nose,
flares, ever so slightly

full lips part,
like dried petals of a rose

lovely mouth drips
drops of nectar in this deep doze

chin curves upwards and then
downwards, following my gaze
slender neck lies unmoving
as if in some anticipation

a tender thigh
protrudes from the crumbled sheets
picture perfect, that's how you sleep
my darling! soundly, and yet awaking the instant
Sid slides even slightly.

Monday, August 14, 2006

what lies beneath...

what lies beneath
truth is suspended from
a sheath of lies
disgruntled, maligned, humbled...
but the truth of the lie is
that it is these lies that make,
disagree if you so desire,
the world a better place

if the truth be told:
how many politicians will be wiped off?
how many social workers will be behind the bars?
how many police officers will be suspended?
how many adult relatives will be sentenced?
how many fathers will weep?
how many mothers will cry?
how many bosses will flare?
how many employees will cringe?
how many friends will frown?
how many spouses will be shamed?
how many children will worry?
how many soldiers will die?
how many coffins will be filled?
how many hearts will crash?
how many files will be deleted?
how many kisses will stall?
how many rubbers will lie unrolled?
how many papers will be crumpled?
how many breads will be thrown?
how many beers will be consumed?
how many cups will spill?
how many beans will sprout?
how many tigers will roam free?
how many of us will not smile...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

royalty rules

royalty rules
follow me, i am king of happiness
lost in a sea of grief –
my arms lost to vandalism
my legs rotting in cloying greed
but i fret not
for i am king of happiness

i can not see, hear or smell anymore
since i accidentally moved
inside the territory of the humans
i have not had a morsel to eat
i have not ever since heard a kind remark
my tongue is limp
my lungs hollow
my heart beats only with lust thrust upon me
from every corner of my living hell
my desires have since drowned
and my blood is clotting
with curdling wails of orphans

i lay awake in nightmares,
slumbering in and out of feigned enlightenment
arrogance is slowly creeping in my veins
hatred is gradually crawling through my arteries
but i fret not
for i am king of happiness

i stay on despite the bleakness
only because of the redeeming thought
that someday
i will break through the mire
and spread my contagious disease
of being happy forever
despite…
despite…

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

flower on a shirt!

shirtflower

o flower
on the shirt of my wife so dear
why
look you
not so pretty?
unable to compete
with her dazzle?
perhaps her lovely lips
all your colour stole?
let the truth be told,
simply jealous you must be
of her magical charms...

colour in grey

crisscross

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

by the riverbank

riverbank

i almost died last night...
dreaming of my little angel...
tripping in a river...
one moment he was there, cheeky smile on his face...
eyes squinted in anticipation of his next mischief...
rosebud of a mouth pursed tight as if to hold on to secrets...
and another moment, i saw him slip on the green algae covered, slimy steps on the riverbank...
it was a slow motion dream, which made the whole fall - all of a few seconds - last an eternity...
as he slipped off the step into the surprisingly clear waters, my heart slipped too...
there was a heart-wrenching pain in my chest...
as i - non-swimmer that i am - stood there, helplessly...
unable to move, unable to reach out to that little bundle of flesh...
tears welled up in my eyes, as i continued seeing my little fellow bouncing down the waves and sinking slowly...
my fists clenched and teeth chattered in shame, in guilt...
that i didn’t even go in the waters to try...
oh the shame!
the shame, i could feel was real, choking my chest and lungs...
i couldn’t breathe...
my eyes lost their luster and i just waited to down myself...
i closed my eyes and opened again, hoping he would be by my side again...
irritating me, making me angry, rebelling against what i ask him...
whatever...
but he was still down under...
under the crystal clear water...
something inside, shook me up, and i stepped in the water...
only to realise that it was not so deep after all...
i strode with determined steps to where my little beloved lay...
eyes closed, mouth partially open, just starting to swallow water...
i rushed; i swept him in my arms and lifted him over my head - all in a single movement...
there, above me, water dripped over me from his head and limbs...
as if releasing me of my embarrassment...
i felt a movement, a stir in his tiny three-year-old lungs...
he coughed and shook himself all over involuntarily...
a shiver of relief passed all over me involuntarily...
i scooped him in my trembling arms and strode back to the bank...
as i laid him down on the hard earth, he spluttered some more river water...
and opened his eyes and looked at me...
oh...not a zillion pounds can compare with that look of love...
oh...that moment since then i have relived thousand times...
a sigh escaped my breath...
oh, my lovely little one...
live...
beyond my years...
beyond my fears...
beyond my tears...
beyond my anger...
and let me cherish your selfless love...for the rest of my life.

Friday, June 30, 2006

self protrait

selfportrait

that's me
surrounded by all
the joyous, memorable
flashes from my past

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

guilt
- a short story by me

guilt
It’s not very easy to live with the truth that your parents are dead. More so if they died because of you. I have spent my life miserably on account of their death. Perhaps the grief will reduce a bit if I share it with you.

I remember my life as a little girl in flashes. Some memories are distinctly clear. And there are some very hazy ones. Sometimes I try so hard to remember and can't recall anything and at times when I am busy doing something, a moment from years ago will just flash by in my mind like a movie scene leaving me absolutely dumbstruck.

Did that really happen? All I can do is wonder, there is no one who would settle my doubts and clarifications. Just who can say with confidence that I had mango pudding on my fourth birthday and I soiled my birthday gift with the juice except my mother? Or, my father? And they are none of them here. That is the biggest grief of my life.

We were not a very rich family. My father worked as a pharmaceutical rep and my mother was a seamstress, working from home. Our two-bedroom house was sparsely furnished and had all the basic amenities of a modern, so called “middle class”. On the other hand if my father had to take a few days off work because of any unforeseen illness, my mother had to stretch the month by mending extra clothes or by starving herself (she thought I never knew!).

When I turned seven, my father got a big promotion and I knew by the sudden and lasting happiness in the house that we will not be unhappy and stretched for money anymore. My mother also felt the same way, I think.

Suddenly, the fridge was always crammed with food and Christmas wasn’t the only day I got new clothes. I had two pairs of shoes and I saw my mother, when she wasn’t doing any household chores, twiddling her new ring with a bemused smile on her face.

It was then that papa fell ill again. The illness didn’t last long but it definitely gave my parents something to think seriously about. Like me, they didn’t want to loose their newfound lasting domestic bliss. They started saving money. Even I, following them, got them to buy me a piggy bank.

I may not be sure about what happened actually but there was some sort of a strike at papa’s company and he was involved in it. He didn’t go to work for many weeks. I would come back from school, and throw my bag on the mantelpiece and run up to him to cuddle. I was happy to find him at home most of the time even though somewhere in my child-mind something told me that it wasn’t a very good thing.

Papa was good to me. But mama wasn’t being so good to papa. They were quarrelling and arguing most of the time when they thought I couldn’t listen. I heard them fight from my bed, from behind the doors, from the bathroom, from everywhere. My heart felt very sad but I didn’t know what to do and what to say.

All I wanted to do was to grow up fast and work and earn so much money that neither my papa nor mama had to work anymore. I just wanted my family to be happy.

Papa didn’t tell us anything but I knew that he had lost his job after some sort of a company tribunal’s ruling that due to his involvement he was being retrenched. From their fights I also figured that he could file a case against the company’s ruling with his union’s support but he would have to bear all the cost himself.

That’s next to impossible, I heard mama yell at him one evening. We didn’t have enough money to eat. Again.

I was ashamed to go but at mama’s insistence, many times I would climb our neighbour’s front steps and ask for a bowl of rice, or two eggs, or a cup of milk. They were kind and never refused but it did make me feel ashamed – not of my parents but just ashamed anyway. I felt like a beggar, an outcast, but since mama would be even more ashamed to ask, I kept up with my task.

At dinner time papa would usually refuse to eat and sit alone in front of the window reading – at times vacancy advertisements in evening papers or just any old book. Mama would lie down on the living room couch with a hand pressing her forehead. I would be too scared to veer anywhere and just sit in my corner in the balcony and imagine a world of full fridge, pantry and dining table.

Then one day when I returned home from school and told mama that teacher had given me a last warning to pay the long overdue fees. And to buy some course books. Mama didn’t say a word, she just hugged me close and very tight – too tight for comfort.

That evening she didn’t scream at papa when he returned from job hunting. In fact she seemed quite loving and caring to him. Ruffling his hair and making him a cup of tea. Though unsure of how to face school the next day, I was quite pleased to see a happy picture of my parents after a long time.

Three of us had a pleasant dinner of mashed potatoes, baked broccoli and steak sent by a friend of papa. They had a glass of sherry and toasted. I felt like I didn’t exist for that moment. My spine tingled with excitement and I went to bed thinking of things other than a full fridge and pantry. I slept well and dreamt of going for a vacation to a warm beach resort.

The next day as I rushed to school I didn’t notice that papa, who was usually at home till late nowadays, had already left home and mama, who was up early everyday to prepare my breakfast, was still sleeping. I tip toed to their room to say goodbye and sneaked a kiss on her cheek before rushing off to the school bus that was about to arrive any minute.

My innocently unaware mind failed to see the bottle of sleeping pills by her bedside. Neither did I see the note fluttering under the alarm clock. Probably she had taken the pills sometime after papa left for an early morning job interview. She was still alive and responded to my touch by opening her eyes slightly.

“Be a good girl, my love,” she said.

“I will, mama,” I said as I dashed off, without realising that this was the last I would hear from my dear mother. And the last I would see her beautiful face.

In the afternoon, when Uncle Fred came to pick me up from school before time, I happily trotted off school before everyone else. He was my mama’s brother and he really loved me as much as mama did, so I didn’t ask him anything until he took me to his house for lunch. Then I asked him why were we going to his house and not mine.

“Don’t worry darling,” he said, “we’ll go there soon.”

Indeed, we did go to my house after lunch but it looked a bit strange. There was a yellow tape all around the front porch and when Uncle Fred and I walked the threshold, many neighbours popped their head out to see. I waved back to Nick, a little boy I normally didn’t like. His mother pulled him inside before he could wave.

I was about to ask Uncle Fred about the yellow tape, when a neatly dressed policeman came up to greet us.

“Hello,” he said and stepped aside.

“Mama? Mama?” I shouted and ran inside. My heart was beating faster at this disrupted routine of not meeting mama at the doorstep. Uncle Fred stopped me.

“Baby, come here. Mama is not feeling well, she is resting,” he said.

“Where is papa,” I whimpered.

“He will be home soon,” Uncle Fred replied.

“I am afraid I have some bad news for you,” the policeman faced Uncle Fred.

“What more bad news can you give me today,” said Uncle Fred. I realised, he didn’t look that happy anymore. His eyes looked so wet that I thought he was going to cry.

“I am sorry but you are the only relative of the deceased. Just an hour ago, we found the body of your brother-in-law hanging from the ceiling in a construction site. The workers found him dead just as they were going in to start the afternoon shift,” the slightly embarrassed policeman was telling Uncle Fred, who clutched me real hard.

“We found a suicide note in his pocket,” said the policeman, handing over a piece of paper to Uncle Fred, who was now crying bitterly.

“It can not be a case of murder as you had suggested. He couldn't have murdered your sister for money, because just like your sister left the insurance money to her husband, he left everything to her,” said the policeman.

And that is how I realised that both my parents killed themselves thinking the other would live comfortably with the insurance money but it’s only I who benefited. And that is why I feel guilty every moment of my life and can’t sleep without Valium. I just hope I don’t overdose someday.

anirudhs31@gmail.com

the dip

the dip

it’s just begun to dip
gradually towards the heart of humility
just as the blue dawn of understanding
began to spread its light;
mind cracked and bones chuckled;
at this late blooming

surprising?
not in the least.
has it not been like this for time immemorial?
youth wants to die prematurely
middle age is spent in the pursuit of artificially acquired youth
and old age, is just a resigned, prolonged wait for the end

the dip comes to all…
“the when” depends on circumstances
mine is late for me,
yours might be too soon,
hers is on the way
and his might never come at all

Thursday, April 20, 2006

demon

demon

kill me, quickly
before i do you
oh yes,
yes, demon am i
but then,
so are you!

idea

its an idea
of an idea
that is shooting upwards
very gradually. welcome signs
are ready to embrace
and to take it
to destinations -
unknown
unreached
unfathomed
unthought.
idea
a short gestation
and fast realisation
pushes it along
the road
to its destination - so far
unsought
unwanted
unrequired
unaided.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

anyone anyway

yudhi-bw
he doesn't
call me papa anymore
not that i am complaining
for i always thought
a child should be free
to address anyone anyway

he still
calls her mama every time
not that i am complaining
for i always thought
a child should be free
to address anyone anyway

he calls
my younger son siddharth
even though we nick him as sid
it makes me wonder
why a child is free
to address anyone anyway

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

someone downsize me!

someone starve me
i have too much to eat

sushi, sashimi, salmon and sheep...
is there anything that i don't eat?

i eat cuttle fish and i eat cattle
i eat chicken soup with a big ladle

i live, sleep, dream, talk, laugh only of food
and if i am deprived, i spoil my mood

i love food and that is just fine
but food loves me too, whenever i dine

my career is dormant, but my belly expands
everyday, more and more my stomach demands

help me, help me, help me, before i supersize
before i expand infinitely, burst and die

Monday, March 27, 2006

the nude

the nude

homewards bound

my cubicle
an infinite hollow
of windowless oblivion
will never be my home
first, second, or third

my home is
where my heart remains...
...at home...
with two tiger cubs
a caged tigress
and a rooster
crowing from a perch on the 3rd floor

homewards bound

the television blares bollywood
the radio screams 80s
the kitchen wafts of hamburgers
the bathroom air lingers with lemon
the bed smells of laundraumat
and my small animals run amok

shrieking in delight

my heart wails
at the thoughts of being a clerk
and my head swims
in big dreams of lottery...

Friday, February 10, 2006

do you have it?

to think about
its worth,
happiness
is not such a frolicking thought

yellow
to have or not have
is not really the question here

neither is it about
Abundance
of materials, money, or metal

is it true Love then, my love?
nope, not true love,
the bringer of hurt and pain

Power?
how can a height bring happiness
when the fear of falling bears you down?

definitely sex, then.
if sex it is,
it is indeed very sad
for it will last just a few seconds
and then disappear (for a really long time!)

i trust
if i search,
i will lose whatever little i have

so never mind yours,
i am already happy.

you?
don't try too hard

radha krishn

radhakrishna


for krishn, i feel, radha was subliminally more beautiful than physically...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

new sprout

sapling1
you are so beautiful
o sprout of a seed
branching towards heaven
blooming our hearts
and strengthening our bond
is it someone, knocking on the doors?
of longevity of clasped hands
and locked lips
embraced tight with love
glorious and abundant

everyday we swim in a sea
of a thousand dreams
salt-laced waves caressing our cheeks
a million messages in bottles
washing ashore
lay unopened for wont of a wish

is someone out there?
lying in wait
to pounce upon our nightmares
there, surely must be
for our dreams, our dreams
layers upon layers of gold
of a million blooms
of a million hues, and fragrances
that feed us with blessed relief!