Thursday, December 27, 2007

bloodshed in the kitchen!

purple-brown crispy wisps of
dried onion peel
float like clouds of cotton candy
in my wet kitchen sink

my cheeks, wet with pungent
acrid tears accompanying
the sweetest of agonies
experienced by men only
when chopping onions

tamarind is sour on my
refreshed, nicotine-free taste buds
lemon juice is a tad different
from the sourness of limes
the bitter of bitter gourd
is blunt
compared to the sharp bitter
of tiny red chilies, hotter than
the dry summer sun
in jaisalmer, or kalahari

eyes burn with flames
of fumes from mustard oil –
lamenting olive oil smiles in revenge
from its untouched bottle on the birch shelf.

respectfully attired housewives,
also newly conscious of their nation’s
throbbing economy,
have forgotten the art of traditional bargain.
all discounts are a “deserving” demand
in gleaming supermarkets
overflowing with fresh produce
bargained traditionally
from the corner vegetable shop uncle.

i dexterously slay ladies fingers – okra for the cultured –
and turn them into bruised knuckles
slimy with the ladies’ sticky juice
i relish seasoning the severed limbs with turmeric
red chilli and curry powders,
shove in some green peppers for flavor.
to stop wife from nagging,
throw two cloves in the mess

together with chopped mass
of previously fear-inspiring onions
i fry everything on a blast of flames.
so high is the heat
so blue the burner
that in mere minutes
ladies fingers’ are reduced
to a much unladylike form
fearsome onions, peppers and chilies
are just a finger lick away from salvation.

monsieur poirot, you are not summoned
to solve this mystery
for i know for sure
how they get done away
- in typical north Indian style -
by licks and smacks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

this scorpion’s universe

eyes tingling with brightness
of a million stars
nostrils flaring with overwhelm
of strange new fears
feet stepping on ubiquitous floor
soft as gingerbread
tentacles poised in
grace, or
defense, or
offence, or,
a mating ritual to impress the otherwise
unimpressionable, and
stoic recipient
of the tender scorpion seed;
thus begins and ends
the vast reign of
the scorpion king!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the rain of joy


speckled in the hours between

- days and nights
- black and white
- happiness and sadness
- silence and cacophony
- laughs and frowns
- hugs and fists
- you's and me's
- was and will
- us and them
- barbeques and cup noodles
- vodkas and water
- aspirin and glucosamine
- running and vegetating

lie beautiful wafts of clouds
ready to shower a pink rain of joy
with cool mist draped around the house
and warm flames from the fireplace leaping to cuddle
cold hands, content with frozen happiness
steaming hot corn soup -
with croutons for me and without for you
- waiting impatiently to be sipped, singeing chapped lips
and giant bowls of burning cognac
lulling gently in the chilly breeze of ranikhet -
trapped outside the windows of the solid stone house
- yours, mine...ours, soon I suppose.

plush rugs of two bhutias
pushing warmly socked feet for reassurance
that they will - too - soon get warm nourishment.

boys. ah, the boy.
perennially active, ready to prank any unwilling human -
mostly me, rarely you
impatiently, in energy only little boys can claim
they toggle, tussle, run about in a furry
changing the books in their laps
the chips in their bowls
ravishing all of papa's peanuts, dropping flaky skin all over
mama's precious persian rug finally used after
years of storage in various places not least of them -
yeo chu klang, arcadia, munshi abdullah, bright hill crescent,
farrer park, unicorn ship, delhi warehouse, yishun street 81,
klang lane, and then arcadia again.
her frown, even though severe at the impending cleaning
of the rug, is not unhappy
...having lived, living and hoping to live
a long loving life with the ones she loves and ones who love her.
happy is she. indeed.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


the night is hot
because of my little one's feverish body
his slightly moist, damp skin
has raised the humidity in the bedroom
pajama bottoms pulled up till knees
sleeves rolled way above elbows
my little one is curled up in a tight ball
two pairs of eyes - anxious and red
follow his every move
till the mercury dips towards 37 degrees
I sigh, she sighs
and even a few hours later after the positive
climate change in planet of my son's body
reading lights
remain switched on
fluffed up pillows
divide unoccupied sleeping spaces
but this bed, king size et al,
remains too big for us
without the other
either it is too big
or too small...
when we first met,
when we first made love
when we had intercourse
even single beds seemed too large
we embraced without the fear of tiny aliens
getting wedged between the nooks and crannies
left out in the mass of intertwined limbs
but now we share the mattress, the pillows and the bed sheets
with our own morsels -
encountered during those fearless
adventurous nights and days.
the reading lights flicker on
not because of marital aversions
but simply because that time,
those few precious hours, minutes even
are the only times we can cherish
with our respective self.