Friday, March 17, 2017

the other face

show me
your other face
i want
to see,

drunk so heavy
that i am on you,
o how desperately
i want to pee!!!


he didn't
address me
as Sir!
I don't mind.

he didn't
as my subject,
been so kind!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016


you were
strangulating her,
what were
the expressions
on your own face?

were you feeling like
you yourself were being
with your own hands?

Monday, June 27, 2016

small house

i have a house
much bigger
than a 
i often take
to Shimla
and stay there
with family
for decades
at a stretch!

Friday, May 6, 2016


rest you must
in peace
my dear,
not down there
but up here,

your molecules
may be earthly,
in them
you remain
a cosmic traveller
on vacation
from up there
down here.

Friday, April 1, 2016


it's paramount
good evil
protect us all
the evil evil,

the civil
muster courage,
if at all.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


mistake him not
for him,
for he now remains
merely an evil dead
taken hostage
by the bacterium
of time.

Monday, March 14, 2016


and mummify
the poem,
but do write it,

who knows
the times
may seek
its spirit
to rise
like a phoenix.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

wasn't didn't

wasn't wearing
when I bore the pain
but guilty i didn't pray,

didn't have
dangling from my wrist
as I held my nerves
night and day,

neither echoed
my ears
with hundred Piper's
when I faltered
but didn't lose the way,

nor did I arrive
in a Merc
that they said
from the path
I didn't sway!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


at whose service
praying for baptism
knelt even the guru

what service rules apply
till edge of the cosmos
but for sinister plans of you

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


If they cry
in heaven,
how different
is it?

If they don't,
what a hell
of a heaven
It is!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


getting the chance
for sure
my stroke of luck

what is present
if not future
disguised in
past tense!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


you asked for money to be happy
but when I gave you, you didn't be,

may be, my child,I should've given you some courage
could've cured your fear, and set you free!

the paper

you were
an instrument
for his cause,
you fool
you couldn't figure,

you were the paper
which carried the message,
not the message
the receiver
the sender!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The way

never stray from the way
they said,
even if I try
I say,

there definitely is a god
they said,
that's why I am not
I say!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

On the way

what if
nimble footed
we have turned
smashing idols
on the way,

yet to reach
we are
heavy stones
all the way...


your ecstasy reveals
how often you cry,
your cheers and laughter
aren't so loud
to hide your sigh,

your tears admit
chasing the happiness
how hard you try,
heartbreakes will return
till you are, my child!
so desperate to fly!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


your world,
o man!
atleast three fourth
is a bubble,
if not more,

will you go bust
or it,
is the only question,
but sure...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

that woman

what if she was a woman!

fearlessly was she speeding her car
through the dense forest
post midnight

the headlights
revealed to her
another woman
walking barefoot
on the deserted road...

"should i stop, or should i not"
before she could even think,
like a hypnotised one
she slowed down the car
stopped by her side
rolled down the window
and innocently asked

"who are you!
where are you going?
at this hour?
can i drop you somewhere?"

the lady on the midnight road
brought her face
out of the dark
close to the driver's ears
and whispered before a big laugh
"i'm a ghost like you, my dear.....
go find a human!!!!"

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sun set

having turned
your back
to it
you think
your sun
has set,

the sun of the night
rising as moon,
not even
the morning's noon!

Monday, October 27, 2014


gonna be


Saturday, September 20, 2014


wind of
in your

of gold
in your

blames you
you don't

dead deaf
to the

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


all the surface
of the world,
your drums,

rain drops

all ears to you,

continue the concert
o clouds!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


At the cusp
You are?

I see,

The things

How innocent
You are!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

long day

It was a long day...

Sky was longer
Sun was slow
It was uphill all the way

It was a long day...

No clouds to give me rain
No trees to give me shade
It was barren all the way

It was a long day...

No one friendly, no one smiling
All the faces cold and frowning
Air of despair, breaths of dismay

It was a long day...

None like yesterday
None like tomorrow
What a way to be a special day

It certainly was a long day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


o almighty,
to save
the mighty!

Friday, August 8, 2014

lunch box

opened the lunch box

and put
tiny mouth
with smile
quite big

as if
his ship
god having sent him

from home,
to eat.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


of bitterness
the heaven

the love
in heaven,
my respect
the hell!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


carved and proportionate
o unearthed,

your face
quite beautiful
must have been,

who you are
never mind,

you must have been.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


level 2
spine protector,

knee and


level 1

to ride

protected and safe

Saturday, May 31, 2014


the thunderous
of colliding heavens
above the clouds!

the flashing swords
in the sky!

carpet spray
of cool rain drops,
on the blistering
face of the earth,
my feet were about to fry!

what a welcome
what a welcome
what a welcome
to your city
my ally!

Friday, May 23, 2014


o life
what a sentence
you are!

many a commas
on the way,

like a
full stop-like


o man

don't be,

you are
you were
something else

Saturday, May 3, 2014


black tea
I don't,
isn't bitter

dark coffee beans
neither do I like,
doesn't sting
that much...

I am
to sip
sweat poison
of neat life
on the rocks !

Monday, April 28, 2014

the protocol

must i
salute you
when you do,
what if
even if
I'm your captain
and you
my soldier!

should be
standing too
in attention
as rapt
as you
what if
even if
I'm your leader
and you
my trail!

should me
plays the bugle
the flag
what if
even if
the flag is not fluttering
down under!

Friday, April 25, 2014

the sunrise

Woke up before the sun in time
To the sparrows' morning chime,
What you say o tik tok clock,I asked
Take it easy it said, sleep a while

Saturday, April 19, 2014

the secret wish

the plane
not crashed,
and that too
so deep
in the jungle,
had not
been I
this much
and helpless,
had not
been I
to death,

would have
to eat
all this
fork and knife,
without apron,
the mortal
you are!

Friday, April 4, 2014


the o's
of the atoms
and the cosmos,

the space
in and around

o me!
made in space
of space!

the messages
trapped in me,
the music
of the
holy grace!


What am I
a trillion
holding hands
of each other
sky diving
in the space
the parent star
the lap
the heavenly valley
below so far.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


O the whisper
of the call of duty
loud and clear,
that's what
I certainly will do
I swear.
Taking it
as the call of God
night or day
will not let him down
come what may!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

the revenge

was very happy.

it was a fine sunday morning.

he had just bought
his favourite chocolate chips
from the shop
and was dancing back
towards home
the bushes.

as he walked
across the dense
wild vegetation
his new tracksuite
got entangled
in the bush thorns.

the more sam tried
to break free
and go home
more tightly
did the thorns hold him back
with their thousand hands.

little sam
thought of crying
for help.

but then
with one giant wave
of courage
he summoned
all the bornvita
under his skin,
pushed damn hard
broke free
and ran
back home!

as he was entering the main gate
he suddenly noticed
his new tracksuite
torn at many places
and embedded
with hundreds
of dagger heads
of dead thorns!

in a fit of rage
picked the garden cutter
rushed back
to the battlefield
and started razing down
all bushes
with thorn threats.

sweating force
spewing fire
raining anger
his red eyes
suddenly saw
a small flower
smiling at him
the hostile thorns.

cooled a bit
and let his fighting hands
the innocent
cute flower.

won the battle
and went home.

the lone survivor behind
the tiny flower
looked at his ravaged kingdom
and released
a million pollens
ready to become
a thousand thorns
by the next sunday!

the reinstallation

ravi hated ads.

he wanted
all ads
on earth
to be taken
to the planet's edge
and thrown
deep under.....

one day
he saw
an ad
of a software
that too free
to block
all ads
till the horizon.

he moved
the mouse
over the icon
clicked it
and took his revenge
on all the ads.

he realized his mistake.

his life became lonely.

he started missing
his enemy
the ads.

window of
window shopping
had shut closed!

he started
feeling depressed.

he quickly
broke into
his friend's laptop
searched for
an ad
of a paid software
bought it
used it
to uninstal
the sticky
ad-blocker software
and installed back
his life
full of ads.

Monday, November 12, 2012

the garden

she saw me
standing in the garden
looking at her.

she left everyone
came to me
and without thinking twice
in front of everyone
my right hand.

i was not embarrased.

but i was curious to know
why she chose
only me
out of so many
present there.

i looked
straight in her eyes
and asked

"why me?
you should be kissing
the young flowers only!"

she looked at me
smiled with moist eyes
held my hand again
kissed it
one more time
and whispered

"because you write
so sweet stories
sweeter than
the nectar
of the flowers
i sit on
and sip."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the suspect

the man
in his late seventies
on his way
to the international conference
was stopped
at the colorado airport.

he had failed the metal detector.

he was held
by the arm
guided to the security room
and frisked

they found

the oldman
smiled warm
and forgave them.

but the men
were still suspicious.

they took him back
and passed him through
the detector gates

it beeped
and beeped big.

they took him back
stripped him
put him on the x-ray conveyor
and found
yet again.

they were shocked
somewhat tired
and a lot angry.

the man
with silver hair
radiant skin
and majestic eyes
was still smiling.

"what's the metal you are carrying?"
they asked him
face to face.

the elderly victim
dimmed his smile
blinked his eyes
and said

"nothing, gentleman!"

"speak up
or you are in trouble, old man!"
said the lead interrogator
grinding his teeth.

the man
closed his eyes
and kept quite.

"guns? knives? explosives?"
the officer insisted.

"nothing, son"
the oldman replied.

"then why is the detector shrieking?"
retorted the man in the uniform.

old man's eyes
suddenly widened,
as if recalling something.

a big smile
beamed on his relaxed face
and threatened to explode
in a laughter.

"o i see!
must be those two swords."
he whispered.

everyone's eyes
popped out
in disbelief!

asked the officer
without blinking
with his right hand
on the holster cover.

said the man at peace
pointing towards his head.

"what do you mean?"
asked the shaken officer.

"a temporal sword
in the left brain
and a spiritual sword
in the right one!"

"do you think
that was funny?"
asked the officer

"it might sound funny, officer!
as it did
to jahangir
400 years ago!"

everyone present
were shocked even more!

they called up
national data centre
and wired
the man's finger prints.

the data guys
and mailed back

"multiple Ph.D.'s in history
famous thesis on Miri-Piri
retired professor
human rights lawyer"

they stepped back
said "sorry"
and offered him coffee.

the old man
closed his eyelids
and said

with milk and sugar, please."

coffee came

the young officer
with straight back
held out
the coffee cup
to the old man
with bent back

and asked

why, then
was the detector beeping?"

the ex-professor
sipped the hot coffee
acknowledged the taste
and murmurred

"even the machines have conscience, it seems!
thanks for the coffee!
god bless you.
keep doing your duty!"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

the instructions

"i have put
one big suitcase
with brand new
warm blanket
in that corner.
if you feel the cold
take it."
mom said
with wet eyes.

"if you feel hungry,"
said papa
in choked voice
"go and eat something
of your choice
from the shop
across the hill.
i have left
some money in your
trouser pocket."

"water bottle is
to your left"
whispered my brother
kissing me on the head
"in case you feel thirsty!"

"and if you feel lonely"
friends said
"just give us a call
we will come
.....all of us or night!
the cell
is in your jacket
on that tree."

they all cried
consoled each other
left me alone
and went home.

but nobody told me
what to do
if i can't bear the heat
of the burning logs
under me.

the tiffin

picked the tiffin
with lunch
and mom's love,
put it in the bag
the bag in the car
the car on the road
reached office
did the day's work
till evening
walked back to the car
reached his bag for the keys
and got
shock of the day
when he saw
packed lunch
and mom's love
waiting for him.

mom's son
started the car
with guilty feet
towards home.

on the way
he suddenly
and instinctively
slammed the brakes
got down
and handed over
the tiffin
to a roadside begger
on the footpath
waiting for the sleep
on the bed of hunger.

and surprised
the begger
opened the tiffin
and then
dousing the belly fire
cooked by
somebody's mom.

prem kept standing
feeling somewhat awkward
standing at the unlikely place
and pushing the poor man
to gulp fast.

the begger
slowed down
and started relishing

prem thought for a moment
and said

"ok, keep it,
eat at your pace,
i will pick the tiffin
same time."

prem reached home
had his dinner
saw some tv
read some book
came to office next day
spent all sunlight till evening
reached his car
drove it to the bus stand
and stopped
the waiting

prem whispered

the begger handed over
the washed tiffin
with curious eyes
at the back seat
of prem's car
searching for
home food
mom's love.

Friday, November 2, 2012

diwali shopping

diwali had reached
the corner of the street.

alok, dinesh, negi and rajesh
dressed up
and reached bazar
to shop
for the festival.

they saw
crackers, rockets, trains and snakes
sparkles, fountains, pencils and whistles
butterflies, chakkars, guns and pots

but they didn't buy
any of these.

they were looking for
their things.

they spotted
their favourite shop
and bought

and many more
of their stuff,
and stacked everything
in the almirah
of their burns ward
in the hospital.

"didn't you buy sweets and candles?"
asked the ward sister.

"will buy and celebrate
after diwali
if all goes well!"
said dr.dinesh.

nodded dr.alok.

and dr.rajesh.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the airport sun

for forty one years
shashi couldn't fly
in an aeroplane

this afternoon
his aunt
shocked him
by giving him
a ticket for singapore
valid only for one day
excited beyond words
rushed to the airport
without wasting
even a minute
leaving behind
even his clothes
and slippers.

he couldn't catch the plane
in excitement,
he had read '4pm'
as the flight departure time
instead of '4am'
early next morning.

with sinking heart
shashi sank
in the lounge seat
waiting for the airport sun
to sink

at 3:30am
shashi sprang on his feet
rushed towards the check-in counter
and suddenly realized
that he had woken up too late
to check-in
in 30minutes.

gate number 4
seemed too far
for him to get past
to get into the plane
in time.

emigration officials
took too long
to clear him
with just ticket in his hand
without passport
or visa.

ran fast
and reached
the gate
at 04:01.

he knew
that the plane had left
the airport
without him
once again.

and he realised
that his dream had again taken off
from the airport of his eyes
one more night
leaving his desire
standing alone
behind the gate no.4
of tears of morning.

awoke shashi
kept lying
in the bed
with eyes closed
waiting for
yesterday's airport sun
to come up back
say sorry
and wipe the dry tears
at gate no. 4.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

the musical beds

it was well past midnight.

in the ward
had slipped
into the valley
of deep sleep.

but sharan was still awake
lying in his bed
with eyes stuck
at the girder above his head
supporting the painted old roof
of ward number 3
of the state hospital.

tomorrow was his surgery day
and sharan was nervous
full of blank thoughts
of uncertainty.

after an eternity
turned his neck
and head
towards his left
and saw the old man
in bed no.5
in pain.

he knew
the old man
was critical.

then turned
towards his right
and saw the youngman
in bed no.7
in relief.

the youngman
would be discharged
sharan recalled.

he again
straightened his neck
and took the burden
of the girder, the roof
and that of his hollow thoughts
with his blank eyes.

next day
they took sharan
into the theatre
worked on him
and put him
in the icu
for one week
before bringing him back
to his favourite
bed no.6.

opened his eyes
and was relieved
to see
the girder
still holding the hospital.

he then looked left and right.

both the beds were empty.

his eyes widened.

he turned towards sister
with the permission of the stitches

"so, sister!
no.5 succumbed
and no.7 discharged?"

"no, sharan,
no.5 got discharged
and no.7 succumbed."

the ambush

with faces covered
they surrounded him
from all sides
held him
and looked in his eyes.

he surrendered
and fainted.

they took out the knife
cut him
without killing him
did the surgery
took out the death
stitched life back
and let him go.

Friday, October 19, 2012

the job

the last bus
for the night
had left
one hour ago.

the only wall clock
had stopped moving fast
after midnight.

the idle coolies
were smoking bidies....

the tea stall vendors
were warming their hands
around the sim burners
of their stoves...

the newspaper hawkers
were busy stealing
their last nap
before the arrival
of the early morning
newspaper jeeps...

had gone to sleep
for the next day's hard schedule...

the dogs were out
with friends...

the weighing machines
were blinking their bulb eyes madly
without thinking...

but balu
the rag picker boy
was standing alert
in a corner
with his hands behind his back
hiding something.

his innocent button eyes
and sharp small ears
were tightly glued
to the large public TV
hanging above the head
of sleepy waiting passengers
of the morning departures,
huddled in the plastic bucket seats
in the open waiting lounge
of the old bus terminus.

balu heard it!

"ladies and gentlemen!"

announced the anchor
in the repeat telecast
of the late night Chef Show

our guest for tonight....
John Sanders!!!"

balu's eyes brightened
like stars!

he held his breath
and waited for the anchor's
next words!

"John Sanders
has the most unique job in the world!"
said the anchor.

"John, ladies and gentlemen,
is the chief taste officer
of a multinational ice cream company!
his job,
believe it or not,
is to taste, taste and just keep tasting
every shipment of ice cream
....all day long
week after week
month after month
year after year!"

hearing this
balu got ecstatic!!!

"i no longer hate my job!"
balu heard the echo
inside his pride inflated chest.

"i daily do what john sanders does!"
balu repeated to himself.

saying this
balu smiled,
brought his hands forward,
opened them
and looked at
dozens of
leftover ice cream wrappers
he daily picked
from the bus stand dust bins
licked one by one
day after day
week after week
month after month!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

the car

bent his back
looked below

and all around.

there was no engine in it.
no gear box
no steering
no brakes
no head lights
no seats
no horn
no stereo
no dashboard
no glovebox....

it had
no registration number plate
no speedometer
no gps
no a.c..

neither did it have
a dickey to open
doors to close
windows to roll down!

just four tiny tyres
under the four high steel legs
the stretcher
where sat
the reckless driver.

the cup of tea

vikram's friend
hurt his hand
real bad
in the second half
of the freezing winter night.

with nowhere else to go
vikram took his friend
to the state hospital's
emergency ward.

doctor on duty
took his friend
in the procedure room
leaving vikram
in the large
cold hall.

he saw
a tea counter,
drifted towards it
dropped a coin
picked the hot cup
and unleashed the sips!

"what a tea!"
vikram's warmed soul.

"i could pay for it
with gold coin!"
murmurred vikram silently.

he finished it fast
took one more
and finished it as well.

his friend
came out.

invited vikram.

his friend smiled
and vikram obliged.

like all good things
the tea party
and they returned home.

nocturnal vikram
felt sleepy
in the blanket of the sleeping night
he would kick his bullet
and rush
to the state hospital's
emergency ward's
tea corner.

one night
sleepy vikram
reached the rendezvous
only to find
a dozen trauma patients
of a bus accident
lying on the floor and the stretchers
between him
and the tea counter
in the large hall.

he tried to wriggle through the jungle
but was caught
by the neck
of his ears
by the rough hands
of the voice
of one of the doctors
on duty

"can you help me?"

vikram stopped
and saw
the doctor's face
with one question
in twenty eyes!

"can you please hold
the legs of the patient
while i clean and close the wounds?"
pleaded the doctor again
pointing towards
a ripped youth.

vikram's drowsy eyes
opened wide
and succumbed
to the call of the doctor.

the patients wounds
got stitched
in an hour
and those inside vikram
got unzipped

he released the legs of the patient
gathered his own
turned his back
to the tea machine
and rode back home.

since that day
he hasn't needed
that tea
to stay awake
all night!

he just rides his enfield
to the state hospital's
emergency ward's
large hall
in front of the tea machine
and asks the doctor on duty

"how can i help?"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

an encounter in the valley

it was not a painting.

the sky in front of me
was real.

so was the long telephone wire
coming from far left
to somewhere on the far right
divinding the sky
in two parts.

the lone sparrow
was also real,
sitting on the wire
with her feather hands
wrapped around her body
and clasping each other

the entire valley was silent
as if it were a painting.

but it was all real.

that there was
no one there
the sparrow on the wire
the sky
the mountains
my stopped car
the road beneath
the jungle around
and the hidden lives in it.

everything seemed still
except the hands of my wristwatch
which had completed
quite a few revolutions.

the sparrow was still there.

"what could it be thinking?"
i thought.

"did she have nowhere to go?
was she alone?
had she lost something?
had she lost the way?"

i looked hard at her

she looked relaxed.
almost philosophical.

it was getting dark.

"she will surely not see her way
if she didn't move fast!"
i thought.

but she didn't move
and kept sitting
with feather hands
still clasped behind.

i was getting restless
besides getting late for my destination
a hundred miles away!

i stepped out of my car
took out my zoom camera
focused in on her
and gently whispered in her ears

"why don't you fly away?"

she looked
straight in my eyes
through the other side of the lens
and said

"first click my photo!
i am special!"

sound of the lesson

there he was
today as well
right in front of my car
crossing the road
on four legs
wihout looking at
or bothering about
the oncoming traffic!

i got furious!

"today i won't slow down."
i said to myself.

"today i won't succumb
at the last moment."
i warned myself.

"i will not stop.
today he has to stop."
i resolved.

i kept moving.

he kept crossing.

he came close
and then
right there!

he was still ignoring me
as if he hadn't seen me!

so did i.

i let the car go.

he sensed his mistake
albeit a bit late.

he tried to speed away
but couldn't!

i heard some noise behind
of the lesson to him
and kept moving.

a furlong ahead
i slowed
and parked
my car
and ego
got down alone
and walked back.

he was not there!

"where has he gone?"
i asked an onlooker.

"who? the blind dog that lives here?"
the man asked back.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

a question on the road

satluj was on my right.

kumarsain mountain
was on my left.

i was in my santro

and the santro was slithering smoothly
like a happy snake
on the serpentile road.

the sky above
was clear blue
studded with wool puffs
of baby clouds.

what a morning it was
and what a journey.

i was happy with life
and life seemed happy with me.

i took a sharp hairpin bend
and saw
a goat
grazing grass
on the side of the road.

i stopped the car
on one side
turned off the engine
and started watching her.

she stopped grazing
lifted her head
looked towards me
for a few seconds
ignored me
and resumed her breakfast.

i kept looking at her

"doesn't she get bored
eating just grass, grass, grass!"
i thought.

"doesn't she miss
not having a laptop
with internet connection
and all the stuff inside?

doesn't she regret
not having a car
not having money
not having a smart phone?

doesn't she long for
the malls
the movies

doesn't she get bored
in just one place
without job
without family
and foes

doesn't she miss
not having temples
with and without gods?

isn't she unhappy
not having an ambition
and a vision?

doesn't she want to have
a language
and a hand to write?"


i opened the door
got out
walked towards her
and said

"excuse me, can i ask you something?"

she stopped grazing abruptly
looked up
fearfully surprised
saw me
from head to toe
and my santro behind me
and puffed

"yes, sure!"
she said
"but before you ask
can i ask you something first?"

sure, why not, go ahead"
i murmurred, double surprised.

"don't you get suffocated
with all that stuff in your head?

don't you wish
to just graze with me
in this valley of god?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

bad times

was inflating-on
like the nostrils
of a charging bull.

the recession
was not receding
and was crumbling down
like a crumbling wall.

the economy
had stagnating
and starting to stink
like a sick pond.

political turmoil
was getting murkier
and turning ugly.

the family
was shrinking.

the society
was decaying.

the nation
was crumbling.

the world
was tattering.

was becoming
and depressed.

despite all that

the baby
didn't bother
didn't worry
didn't think
got born
and came.

the criticism

"all indians are stupid"
he said.

"are you?"
i asked.

"no,no. not me"
he said.

"am i stupid?"
i asked, again.

"no. i didn't say that!"
he said.

"your dad? your mom?"
i challenged.

"what nonsense? i never said that!"
he retorted.

"my mom? my dad?"
i caught him again.

"o dear! when did i say that! please!!"
he pleaded.

"my brother, sister?
or yours?"
i didn't let him go.

"please.....stop it!"
he begged.

"so? what was that you said about the indians?"
i asked, yet again.

"what i meant...some indians are stupid."
he chuckled.

i said and looked at him...

"ok...ok...few indians are stupid."

"fine....if few indians are stupid
then what about others?"
i quipped.
"tell me about them."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

the land

the landlord
some more land
and went
to see it
and feel good.

on reaching there
he got furious
to see several cows
grazing merrily
on the grass
of his new land.

in a rage
he picked
a log of wood
and started hitting them.

the cows stopped munching
and walked away

some distance away
a dog stopped them
and asked

"why did you walk away?
why didn't you fight back?"

the holy cows
kept walking
and didn't reply.

a small
milky white calf
walking in the end,
while crossing the dog
turned towards him
and said

"we have a lot of land to graze
..all the land of the earth...

let him have
that piece."

the body

he was standing
right in front of me...

bare chest....

he didn't have 6 pack abdomen.

just one pack.

that's all he could afford
with one little meal
of malnutrition.

Friday, August 24, 2012

two pens, twenty swords

i raised my head
after having kept it bowed
with love, awe, peace and prayer
at the feet
of the timeless guru
the granth sahib
seated on a high pedestal
in front of a thousand eyes
in the gurudwara
on the bank of
mighty yamuna.

"search for the guru's pens!"
the words of my teacher
in my ears
wrapped under the blue turban.

i stood up
and with folded hands
started walking
around the guru's throne
like a small wandering planet
drifting alone
in the orbit
around the holy star.


just behind the palanquin
my eyes saw something
and ordered my feet
to stop!

in front of me
was a huge rectangle glass showcase
hanging from the wall....

full of swords, kataars, arrows and guns
left in lieu of his shadow
by the soldier saint
guru gobind.

the swords' shine
was still there
but the sharp edges
had blunted
with time.

the arrows
though gleaming like gold
looked old
but ready to fly
waiting for their wings to be freed
from the clamps.

the guns were silent
with polished empty barrels
and jammed triggers.

but behind the blunted edges
tied wings
and jammed triggers
was the unmistakable resonance
of the history
that these weapons had written
with the ink of blood and truth
on the pages of the land and times
at the hands of the guru
and his soldiers.

but my obedient eyes
were still searching frantically
for the guru's pens.

there appeared none!

"prof sa'ab can't be mistaken!"
i said to myself
and kept looking.

i failed again!

i was about to abandon
the tired search
of the tireless pens
i noticed something!

in front of me
protected amidst the large weapons
were two small weapons
smaller than the smallest arrows.

i came closer
and saw
two tiny
alloy barrel sticks.

"which weapons could be these?"
i asked myself...

for they were
too small to be arrows
that could defend something
or stand upto
any oppression!

i came closer
and focused hard
at their tips.

unlike the shining edges of the swords
polished barrels of the guns
and gleaming arrows,
the tips of these tiny weapons
were still black
with dried powder
of the blood of words
spilled centuries ago!

amidst the silent guns
stopped arrows
and blunt swords
which rewrote the history
through battles
which ended
a few hundred years ago,

guru's two pens
were still fighting
the timeless battle
through the holy message
inked by them!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

the third carton

the labour inspector
was coming
to inspect
the working condition
at the construction site.

the contractor took out his cell
and called someone.

the truck arrived
like all trucks
full of
and cement.

the labour kept working.

they opened the truck shutter
and brought down
three large cartons.

the labour kept working.

the contractor called them.

they stopped
and all gathered
near the truck.

the contractor's man
opened the first carton
took out
large helmets
and gave one each
to every male labourer.

then he opened
the second carton
and took out
medium size helmets
and gave one each
to every woman labourer.

they wore
their helmets
but kept standing their
looking at
the third carton.

the contractor's man
opened the last carton
and took out
tiny helmets
and gave one each
to the woman labourers
for their babies
tied around their back.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

sky on the ground

"when will we reach home, mom?"
he asked

"why, honey?"
mother asked back
"why are you asking?"

he paused for a moment
blinked his mini button eyes
took a deep small breath
and said


the sky is under my feet
since one hour,

the earth is on my head

and the trees are all hanging down.

the birds are swimming in the sky
and the fish are flying in the pond.

water is re-entering the taps
and all animals are crawling in the sky
on their backs.

my hands are aching a lot!"

the shocked mom
stopped walking
bent down her neck
looked through her front arms
at her baby monkey
clinging hard
upside down
to her underbelly
clasping her body tight
with his tiny hands.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

the face-off

she stopped
lifted her head
and looked
at the beautiful himalayan goat...

perched high
on a big rock
at the peak.

sun shining bright
on her young rounded shoulders
and the cool high breeze
breezing past
her velvette hair...

"what a life!"
she sighed
looking at
the cover
the national geographic
hanging outside
the roadside magazine stall.

she looked at her
then dropped her head
moved on
and climbed
with her front two feeble legs
the side wall
of the municipal garbage dumper
on a cement platform......

the hot sleepy air
forgetting the promise once again
to brush
and caress
her dusty hair.

Monday, July 9, 2012

the gaze

she was walking
right before him
ahead of him.

he got conscious
and tried
not to look at her
from behind
but succumbed.

she was magnetic....

curving down
to the waist
and widening out...
taking his breath away...

full grown

she kept walking
before him

he kept walking
behind her

she was
like flowers.

he was
like clouds.

his head
was numb
with the thunder
of guilt

but his skin
was electrified
by the thrill
of sight!

his heartbeat
to come out
of his chest

but his bones
the shiver
and kept pushing
the legs.

the deafening silence
got abruptly pierced
by the gentle voice
of his daughter
walking besides him

"one day
i too
will grow tall
like her!
isn't it, papa!!!"

Saturday, June 30, 2012

the goodbye

looked at me
one last time
with her velvette blue eyes
glittering with
tear diamonds
wet with love,
kissed me good bye,
gently let go my hands
and started walking away
holding her wedding gown
with her ivory white hands
and head turned back towards me
to let her still thirsty eyes
drink me some more.

she kept walking.

i kept getting left behind.

the ribbon of love
tied to our eyes
kept getting longer
till the horizon.

she kept looking at me
i kept loving her back
with stunned hypnotised eyes
without realising
what was happening.

a limo
arrived behind her
at the edge of the horizon.

the door opened
and took my sweetheart in.

till that time
i had not realised
that i will never see her again,
that i will never embrace her again
that i will never kiss her again
that i will never touch her again
that i will never hold her hand
and feel her warmth.

till that time
i had not realised
that from now on
i can only think her
i can only call her name
i can only dream about her
i will never be able to
see her
hear her
touch her
smell her
feel her...

limo's doors
closed at me
headlights winked
and it started to move
first slowly
then fast
and faster
taking my darling soul
up up and away
leaving me behind
with half open eyes
on the rough logs of wood.

(inspired by "colours of the wind"
instrumental version

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the road

she wanted to cross the road.

she looked to the left
and saw
a thousand cars
like the army of monsters
bumper to bumper.

she looked
to her right
and saw
thousand and one cars
like the sea of crocodiles
shoulder to shoulder.

she was getting late.
and desperately wanted
to cross the road.

her feeble eyes
couldn't stand any more
two thousand and one
exhaust chimneys.

her weak ears
couldn't bear
restless honking trumpets.

her tender skin
was burning
in the summer hell
of the furnace engines.

she had to get home fast
to feed her family.

she looked
one last time
at the giant snake
of traffic snarl,
closed her eyes
left the high branch
of the roadside tree
fluttered her wings
and flew away!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

the encounter

it was minus ten outside.

we all
quickly checked in
the only guest house
in raksham
shut all doors windows and airways
switched on the heaters
switched off the lights
and hid inside
multiple layers
of warm quilts.

no dogs barked outside
no wolves howled
not a sound dared to speak
except the loud shrieking whistle
the chilled
hunter breeze
rushing past
the ghost serpent valley
under the kailash
like a train
of restless spirits.

all ten houses
and our guest house
closed eyes
and pretended to have gone
to sleep.

inside our quilts
we lay awake
with eyes closed
and ears wide open.

and then we heard her...

she came whistling
around the bend
of the mountain.

she was coming
right towards the rest house
a restless
spirit in a hurry
searching for
a stray body!

and she stopped
just outside the gate.

the pin drop silence
for hours
and then
we heard her

"they left you outside!

"they didn't take you in!!

"how could they do it!!!

"don't you feel scared?
......of meeeeeeeee!!!"

she said
and started laughing
louder than
the loudest echo
in our nightmare!

whom was she talking to!!!

my entire family was right here
triple bolted
inside the room
under the layers of quilt
wrapped in cold darkness!

"don't worry!
tell me!"
we heard her ask again.

but whom was she talking to?

who was there
on the road
well past midnight
in sub zero!

we all
held our forgotten breath
and waited...

and then
we heard
a familiar voice reply

"o breeze!
i am not a family member
my place is outside the home.
it's ok.
i'm used to it.
don't feel bad about me."

"aren't you afraid of me?
she asked again.

"i am.
but i keep
my doors shut tight.
and when you whistle past
like that
i just close my eyes
say my prayer
and try to be brave."
our santro.

hearing this
the breeze stopped circling
the poor small soul
closed her cloudy eyes
dropped a tear
and flew away
into the valley
the shadowless mountains
of the night sky...

the tap

"turn it off!"
i shouted
and looked
at their faces.

seemed to have
heard it.

i shouted again.
"somebody stop the wastage!!!"
i urged
pointing towards
the mad free flow
of water
gushing down
onto the road
and beyond!

"why aren't you turning off the tap?"
i asked
with pain.

not a head turned this time too!

just then
a little boy
walked upto me
held my hand
and took me
across the village
through the lush green meadows
into the thick forest
around the cliff
behind the mountain
and pointed towards
the missing tap
inside the open house
of god
- the natural spring!

the time

standing in the hotel balcony
in raksham
i see
snow capped peaks
of the mighty kailash
bathing in the molten sunshine.

have not melted
even today.

of tomorrow
are already here.

the three kids
and yesterday
are playing together
all around
the peak
on the slopes.

wind is blowing

time has stopped.

Friday, June 8, 2012

the last missile

without any warning
without provocation
they fired the missile.

it left its base
before the shocked eyes
and went
up up and away.

it was a different missile.

no propellers
no turbines
no onboard computers
no smoke
no light

it had no heat seeking sensors
nor was it guided by the satellites.

it covered
all the distance
with precise timing
perfectly along the intended trajectory
and hit the target
bulls eye.

what was more unique
was the damage that small missile caused.

it left the surrounding buildings untouched.
it didn't harm the human life all around.
neither did it damage the infrastructure.

it didn't even hit the intended target.

but it did its job
to perfection
by hitting
and destroying
the reputation
of the "scientists"
who had launched it
from inside the rolled down window
of their luxury car
after having gulped down
all the water
inside it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

the wings

they were not mountaineers

just crazy fast friends
who had come
without informing their parents
to try and climb
the snow peaks
of the top mountain
far from their homes
close to the sky.

they kept walking
for three days
leaving the safe world
behind seven mountains.

the peak was
still away
when one of them
and kept falling
in the deepest gorge.

the remaining two
didn't know
where their friend went.

no roads
no pathways
no stairs...

the deep gorge
kept staring at them
like a black hole.

they waited for him
all day
all night
till next morning
and when he didn't return
they returned

one year passed.

one night
just before midnight
someone knocked
at the door
of one of them.

he opened.

no one was there
except a whisper

"don't feel guilty
both of you!

i had wings.
i flew out!
rest doesn't matter!!"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

the masterpiece

where was she?

i wanted to meet her
appreciate her
and pat on her back.

what a masterpiece she had created!

how did she make it?

where did she get the idea of the structure?

who gave her the idea
of having perpendicular supports
to keep the concentrics together!

why didn't she use
neither one less
nor one more
cross member?

was she an engineer?
or a pg in mathematics?

which all instruments did she use?


did she use fevicol
or rivets
or clamps
or bolts
or threads?

where were her drawing boards!
her wind testing tunnel!
her lab?

what materials had she used?
so strong, yet so light!

how brilliantly she had chosen the direction!
maximising the sunlight
and just the right wind!

which college did she study from?

who were her teachers?

where was she?
i wanted to meet her
appreciate her
pat on her back.

just then
i saw her
coming from behind the wall
not looking at me
nothing in her eight hands
carrying all materials in her mouth
and drawings in her head
to web
the next net.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

the assassination

the 12 year old
was so happy.

his conservative parents
had finally agreed
to let him go
to the school picnic
to palampur
the next morning.

the boy tried hard
but couldn't sleep
through the longest night
of his life.

morning took mercy
and arrived
teasingly slow.

the otherwise lazy boy
jumped out of the bed
poured the bucket over himself
dressed up in a flash
and waited for his parents
to kiss the bye
on his forehead
and send him to picnic!

just then
a girl from the neighbourhood
rushed in
and announced

"PM assassinated
picnic cancelled!"

that one line
the dreams of the boy
as well.

he turned stone
and bleeded tears

the pm was cremated
the new one was sworn in
and it was business as usual
except for the small boy.

30 years passed.

the boy
is now a father
of 12 year old daughter
who is to go tomorrow morning
to a school picnic
to chail.

the 12 year old father
can't sleep tonight as well
waiting for
the morning newspaper.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ego and inspiration

i stopped
at the highway dollar store
parked my car
went in
and searched my eyes-full
looking for something to buy
to keep me

a thousand things
stretched their arms
towards me
but i picked
a pen
with which i'm writing right now
worth rupees four

what a pen it was
and it is!

what flow of ink
inspiring the flow of thoughts
and what grip
to control the flock words!

i paid for it
put it like a medallion
on my chest
close to my heart
and resumed my journey
to reach office
in time!

the pen was so happy!
clinging to the pocket edge
with clip hands
looking at the world
out of my window
like the baby kangaroo
peeping out
from its mother's belly bag.

but his joy
was short lived.

in office
a client gave me
a hundred rupee pen
the diamond roller!

glittering! grand!
intelligent! smart!

i had only one heart
and one pocket!

so had to share it
with both of them.

i lifted
the prince with diamond eyes
out of the velvette gift box
and put him
in the same balcony
where stood
the blued eye boy
from the roadside store.

the boy got nervous
the prince got uncomfortable
and i got conscious.

evening came
and i left office
for home
with both of them.

at the car parking
i met
after a long long time
an old man
an old time broker friend
having recovered miraculously
from a terminal disease
losing all courage
in the fight.

i wanted to cheer him up
and wanted to give him something.

but all i had
in pocket
besides some money he would never accept
just two pens!

too inspiring to let go,
and the other
too expensive
to lose!

i asked the old man
for some time,
stepped aside,
thought it over,
but failed.

i needed
both of them!

and then
with trembling hands
closed eyes
and heavy heart
i let my ruthless hand
reach the balcony of the palace
pick him up
and sacrifice
my ego
my inspiration.

the old man
in his feeble hands
with moist eyes
my ego
and his inspiration.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the last desire

was a simple shy boy
without father
but two brothers
not so simple
not so shy.

they couldn't stop
the streets
and air
of rampur billron
the simple shy boy
a simple shy
young man.

young jeet
now had
only two

he loved motorcycles
and wanted to have one of his own.

and he loved the sight of
ornament loaded brides
and wanted to have
one of his own
to see

his brothers
and their wives
got scared.

they feared
young jeet
riding away
the bike
with his share of property
tucked between
him and the bride.

no one bought him the motorcycle.

and no one gave him
pocket money
to marry.

they let jeet
like the lump of salt
in the water of age
in the tumbler of life.

one night
the remaining jeet
walked out
walked away
and took shelter
in the abandoned shiva temple
outside the village
near the cremation ground
and became
a reluctant ascetic.

his beard grew white
and long.

time made nest in his beard
where birds of souls
came and rested.

jeet's back stooped down
and his stature soared high
into the sky.

people from far
started coming
for his blessings.

years flew away
just a little

one night
shiva appeared
in jeet's dream
and blessed him
with one wish.

old jeet
woke up
sat up
and spent the dark ink of midnight
trying to cut one wish
out of the two pending wishes
of his life

- motorcycle or the bride!

morning rose
devotees came
but didn't find
the old man
in the temple.

they started searching for him.

in the temple
in the fields
on the highway
in the jungle....

he was nowhere....

when everyone had lost all hope
they saw
at the edge of the forest,
piercing the mist,
shining in the morning sun,
long white velvette flying hair
baba jeet
riding a bike!

entire village erupted in joy
and started running
behind the bike
of liberation.

that evening
baba jeet
breathed his last
with one invisible desire
left behind
on the rear seat
of the bike.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the drum beats

i was standing
in the valley
at the bus station
for my bus.

i heard
beating of the drums.

i looked to my left.

and around the corner
from behind the cliff
like the kings chariot
on wide tyres
a gleaming black

my eyes widened
in sheer awe
and i forgot
to bow my head.

the audi crossed me
and vanished
without looking at me.

to my surprise
the drum beating
still continued!

i kept looking.

and bmw's

all kept coming

but none stopped.

neither did the drums.
they got louder and louder!

what else could be coming?

what grander than those iconic machines?

and then
i saw
from behind the cliff
the palkin
the local goddess deity
on the shoulders
of devotees
on foot.

as the drummer in front
crossed me
my eyes closed
in sheer awe
and forgot
to bow my head.

when i opened the eyes
unlike the audis, mitsubishis, toyotas and bmws
her palkin
was still there,
not forgetting
to look at me
and bless me!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

the voices

the earth
was still hanging
between the night and the dawn.

i woke up
from deep sleep
with a jolt.


i had heard someone

i wriggled out of the bed
and switched on the lights.

there was no one
but i was surely not dreaming.

i could still hear
someone crying.

one by one
i searched all rooms.

there was no one.

the cries turned into

the laughter stopped.

now i heard them all

i was petrified.

i heard a train
whistle by,
followed by
tapping of horse feet
and firing
of gunshots.

there was pin drop silence.

just as i was about
to slip back the bed
i heard it all again

people crying
and laughing
and gossiping...

i covered my ears
with palms.

the voices diminished.

they were surely coming
from somewhere outside.

i searched all rooms again.

there was no one.

then i saw
the table in the corner

i went close
and saw
a storm
inside the inkpot
on the table.

i went closer
and put my right ear
on the inkpot.

"please take us out!
please take us out!!"
shrieked the stories
from inside.

the search

he was driving
the bus
very rash.

i blocked its path
got out of my car
went straight to the driver
and saw
a child
at the driver's seat!

i forgave him
corrected him politely
and drove away.

on the way
i saw
more children.

one managing the traffic
in big boots
and a big hat.

riding a bike
without helmet
chewing tobacco.

it was a strange day!

all around
wherever i looked
i saw children
lot of them
only them.



i saw a child
carrying two sacks of rice
on his shoulders,

another one was walking
ahead of him
showing him the way.

then i saw
a handcuffed child
being taken away.

i stopped the car
and couldn't stop asking

"what has he done?"

"you stay out of this!"
shot back
the child in the uniform.

i moved my car
and sped away
out of the valley
in search of
a normal city
with real children
who are never lost.

the busy world

the queen
was looking to her left
without expressions.

gandhiji was smiling
and looking down.

a butterfly was fluttering
above his head.

the indian navy warship
was patrolling nearby
giving the security cover.

robert koch was the guest of honour
standing near
the skinner's horse.

the only electric lamp
was off.

the arya samaj fire was lit big.

swans were flying above.

ladies were returning home
with milkpots on their head.

peasants were working in the nearby fields

an electric locomotive was whistling past.

the damodar dam's gates were open.

the slv was ready for the launch.

the world was busy
celebrating the world food day

and the children's day.

i was busy
looking at
the childhood stamp collection
of my wife.

Friday, May 4, 2012

the last defence

the enemy
the sleepy dreamy good nation
in the dead of the night.

with tanks, jets, warships,
guns, grenades and missiles.

the sleepy
woke up
stood up
went out
and tried to stop
the new tanks of the old enemy
with old tanks of the old friend.

but failed.

they tried to stop the jets
with hands,

with request,

with prayer,

with hope,

and missiles
with cries.

but failed.

just when the nation was about to slip
they brought out
the ultimate weapon,
the most dependable one,
and stopped
all tanks
and missiles

the mighty
red tape.

Monday, April 30, 2012

the liberation

she looked smart.

very smart.

in crisp, clean, ironed

her hair nicely wrapped
behind her head.

shirt buttoned
upto the pride
on her chin.

black shining leather belt of control
tightly hugging
her young waist.

black drill shoes
of discipline
adding thump
to her confident
power walk.

no bangles
around her wrist
just a watch
of good times
clinging tightly
to her brown
training tanned
toughened skin
of attitude.

no makeup
on her face.
a natural layer
of duty
spread evenly
on the forehead
and nose of pride.

with baton of law in her hand
gun of power waiting in the holster
stars of authority on her shoulder
the symbol of liberation
the lady sub-inspector
into the head quarters
saluted the chief
and said

"sir, i want to complain
about harrassment
by my seniors!"

the second chance

the silver wheel of moon
kept rolling
on the dark mat
of late night.

the tired wind

the cool ash
on the ground
inside the walls,
heated up again
rekindled the last spark
brought back the fire
and turned into
big logs of wood
carrying the burden!

the ring of fire
came down
went out
let the bones warm down
to get covered
with fair skin
and long hair!

the body appeared back
woke up
opened its eyes
sat up
climbed down
started walking
reached back home
went straight to the living room
looked straight in the mirror
and asked

"i can still give you another chance
if only you promise me
to stop cribbing
and start living."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the signs

"are they all there?"
asked the chief
on his wireless
from above the ground.

"yes, sir!"
replied the search officer
on his set
from deep under the ground
in the dark
secret cellar.

"what are they all doing?"

"clinging to each other hard, sir!"

" ok, separate them. seggregate the muslims, the christians, the jews and the buddhists."

"can't identify them, sir!"

"check the beards and moustaches!"

"none has any, sir!"

"identify from their language!"

"none is speaking up, sir!"

"check from their dressup, damnit!"

"none is wearing any, sir!"

"try to identify from their mannerisms, behaviour, thoughts, preferences, prejudices!
look for the symbols - cross, threads, tattoos.
look for the signs!!!"

"looked for everything, sir. no sign.
can't figure out!"

"never mind! ask them, straight!!"

"none is speaking up, sir!"

"use force!"

"used, sir! no response!"

"what are they doing?"

"still clinging hard to each other, sir!"

"ok! first separate the white from the black!"

"can't , sir!"


"no skin, sir! just bones, skeletons and skulls all around, sir!"

Friday, April 13, 2012

mom didn't say

"good morning, son!"
she didn't say.

yet he rubbed his beautiful small eyes
woke up
sat up
and started looking around.

"brush your teeth, have your bath,son!"
she didn't say.

so he didn't.

"wash your hands before you have your breakfast!"
she didn't say

so he just picked his favourite fruit bun
and started enjoying."

"finish your milk, son"
she didn't say.

so he didn't.

"don't touch the bmw, son!"
she didn't say.

so he touched it
left his finger prints,
and ignored it.

"hurry, you are getting late for the school, son!"
she didn't say.

so he took it easy
stretched his legs
and lied down

"you are too young to work!"
she didn't say.

so he sat up again
and started begging
along with his mother,
in the parking area
under the shadow
of the bmw.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the family

my son is playing
right before my eyes
on the floor.

my daughter is doing her homework
right before my eyes
on the table.

my wife is ironing the clothes
right before my eyes
on the bed.

they are all busy.

they are not looking towards me.

do they know that i am there?

am i really there?

or did i leave my eyes behind!

are they really there?

am i just dreaming them
remembering them
after 30 years!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

the porridge

gift wrapped
the head of jason
tied the knot
of the ribbon of rope
looked at the superintendent
and pulled.

ribbon knot loosened
the gift slipped out.

jason didn't die
and had to be content
with cervical fracture.

they quickly put him in ambulance
and took to the hospital.

jason remained there
for 90 days.

every morning
faqeera went to the hospital
with porridge he would cook himself.

jason got well
checked his weight on the platform
looked towards faqeera
and said

"porridge was good!"

"need some more?"
asked faqeera
with silent eyes
dipped in liquid love.

"some other time!"
replied jason.
"slightly in a hurry today!"

faqeera gift wrapped him again
knotted the ribbon
and whispered

"i'm sorry!"

jason smiled from the other side
and whispered back

"break it properly"

faqeera did
returned home
cooked porridge
put in some tears
stirred it
and put a spoonful

the porridge got stuck
somewhere in his neck.