The Naked Canvas

She stood there, the top two buttons
of her shirt- cotton, as she selected
mine, for this evening- undone,
and a few at the end, loose.

The collar was un-pursed, the shoulders
visible, as the fabric hung to the sides;
her neck was as naked as my thoughts
and it was beautiful. My thoughts, not.

One of her legs lay harboured
on the sheesham chair; her skirt failed
to modest her thighs. Her knees
were strong, and her thighs, elegant.

The flora on her skirt gardened the legs
as they- motionlessly- bloomed
in the dim-lit cluttered room of my studio
and I just looked at her: gazed, in fact.

I held my brushes close to my heart,
clutching the wood as blood rushed
to my fingers, in an attempt to present
colours to my thoughts and dirty the canvas.

My eyes were barely open; hers, wide, dark,
kajal-ornamented, happy, excited.
She was like the sea, I, a whirlpool.
She was fire, I was the world- engulfed.

I saw the universe with my almost-shut eyes,
and, yet, failed to muster up an image
of her on the sheet. She, wide-eyed,
could not sense my inability to sketch her.

Blissful Sorrows

Sometimes I smiled,
the other, wept.
I never wore a straight face,
for an emotionless face
is a waste of beauty.
But, I had found the bliss
in a few drops of tears.

Every once in a while,
I would soil my handkerchief,
but smiled behind it,
whenever I failed
to take note of the sorrows.

And in the midst
of this melodrama,
I killed the mockingbird,
and no one noticed.
Optimism, till then,
was never my forte.

The Setting Sun


“We need to move…”
she said, earnestly,
“the airs here
have grown old
and lament the past.”

“A new place awaits us
to cohabit our smiles
and listen to our songs,”
she added, soulfully,
“as we dance wild.”

“Our clothes wither
in the white corners
of this wood-block,”
scanning the vision,
“and blanket with dust.”

“Sour curd blinks
from inside the dark,
warm refrigerator,”
her eyes shut, now,
“and request us leave.”

“And the door fails
to shut to the edge
shedding a shine,”
her voice tiring,
“showing us escape.”

“Where’ll we go?”
he asked her.
“Somewhere you’ll face
me, sleeping. The sun’ll
set beautifully, there.”

A Deserted Village


I’ll visit my village once…
I have heard of it,
a few times from my folks
other while, in books.

They all say similar
that it is a sight to behold,
with green backdrop
and yellow adorning it.

With buildings as old
as legends, and legends
seemingly being narrated
by withering bricks.

And air as fresh as minds
and water as cool
as the hearts residing there
apparently flow through it.

I’ll visit my village once…
the village I have heard of
from those that came here
and never went back.

Of Happy Clocks


We were kids once, and
I assure you, we were kids.
And nostalgia reminds me
of the history of me being one.

And we were kids
of the mountains, and…
we were as wild as the winds
that play with the pine trees.

Remembering pine trees,
a tangerine image strikes
what I perceive is memory
of an age, of me as a sapling.

The autumn, the fallen leaves,
the sacks filled with them,
the evenings with friends
and us, surfing those sacks.

And wild we were, us kids,
as wild as the pine needles
that stung us, each time we
raced to the valley on sacks.

But memories are harsh
and time is harsher still,
save for the fact that I am,
currently, smiling, reminiscing.



Strolling with Strangers


I followed a star home, yesterday
but I wasn’t even lost.
However, letting myself walk
I allowed him to be my guide.

He took me through roads-
untreaded, yet, and people-
strangers to me, and homes
I hadn’t been invited to.

He, though, was acquainted
with the roads, the people
and houses (which I call homes)
yet he patiently accompanied me.

And, now I am a little wiser
of new routes, and new people
and habitations, but I still sit
alone in my room, reminiscing.

And, though it is dawn now
I fail to fall asleep realising
that after the journey together
I didn’t invite him for breakfast.

Listening to Myself


“Aaah!” I shout but who’s to listen
aren’t they drowning
in their own shrieks,
as they shout their hearts out?

And I shout, aloud
deafening my own ears;
again I shout, “aaah!”
but it is just I, hearing.

Do I want another to hear
as I shamelessly shout?
or am I shouting just
to satisfy that imprisoning me?

But, again, I shout,
for the third time in a row, now
and it is, but I who has the time
to trouble my eardrums.

And, then I laugh,
at the top of my voice,
at myself, for I expected to shout
to myself, and I went deaf, thereon.

Shining Shoes


I see myself
and I appear
a shade darker.

What is it
that wears me off
as I grow?

Is it the sun
as it scolds me
on its daily round?

Is it the city
which can’t see me
fairer than itself?

I roam around
the busy roads
with brushes in a bag.

And, I see myself,
as I polish shoes-
darker, in each shine.

… and the Wheel Spins.

I laugh at myself today
“Hahaha!”, loud, clear
and without shame; but
fear not my demonism.

You’ll find me laughing
my heart out, gaudily
among a hundred crowd
but spare me not a look.

One day you’ll laugh too
at yourself, in humiliation
for reasons I laugh today
but live now, you, live good.

For I found myself alive
looking for the strings
the puppeteer steered
my life, outside myself.

All the laughter, tears
shouts, silence, calmness;
I forgot it was but death
that piloted me to itself.


Becoming Obsolete

Listen, heart, through the ears
of each vessel of the senses
that run through and beyond
the incessant invigorations.

Look, heart, through the eyes
of the minutest of emotions
which moisten the smiles
and laugh between ‘brows.

Speak, heart, through the voice
of strings that tune themselves
to the music of the thoughts
which you yourself conceive.

If you wish to become obsolete
you need not look, hear, speak
elsewhere than within yourself.
Temptations reside not outside