Monday, 26 July 2010


I refuse to be by-gone


Lost in history

Forgiven in memory

Lamented and forgotten

Obsolete an idea

Thought by passed

I shall rise again



And snatch away

My dreams

From fate’s cruel hands

Reverberate with joy

Disheveled fervour

Shall see the end

The beginning of all

As I am the multitude

Within and also

The connect divine

I am …………….Just me!


The tender leaves

Float in his voice

A shine glows deep

Like a moon beam

On a starlit night

His crystal eyes

Mirror a smile

Dreams skirt around

On the marbled floor

Step to step

Rhythm to rhythm

Hands outstretched

Fingers clasped

But still amiss

Is the lonely touch

The nearness

The warmth

Of fingers and lips

So close yet so far

So distant in hold

Faithless but bold

Passes by a song unsung

The empty footfalls

Cocoon a moment

Intimate and gone

A gaiety so fake

Laughs aloud

As the harshness

Of sunshine

Pours on them

A moment is stilled

Gathered again

In distance surround

Promises broken

Words unleashed

Yet unspoken

A wish, a hope

Pulsates within

Hisses under his

Laboured breath

And robs him off

The words that freeze

With lifeless chains

He’s bound to an oath

Long forgotten

Forgiven perhaps


In the course of life’s journey, we make innumerable acquaintances and friends. We spend happy times with them, play, make merry and sometimes share our grieves and pains too. At times these relationships are for lifetime, sometimes casual and for a short while. Our limited vision and thoughts prompt us to define every relation by name and bind them into watertight compartments – childhood friends, school friends, college friends, office colleague, bus mate, class mate, batch mate so on and so forth. In every walk of life we interact with so many people at multiple levels. Sometimes the rapport is instant, sometimes slow to build up, sometimes stormy, sometimes strong and deep – there are various shades to it. Many a times after meeting and gelling with a person, a spontaneous thought invades the mind “why didn’t we meet before?” This happens when two souls click and compliment each other without any enforced effort. The most apt answer to this innocuous question is that “you were meant to meet at the time when it was ripe for you”. No more no less! But still we ask such silly questions. Still we ponder and lament over the time lost being away from each other. If only we had met earlier. Had we met before we would have done this or that. Endless suppositions! Endless surmises! Endless queries! I think this process is continuous, ongoing, ceaseless (perhaps common to all too?) and goes on till the twilight of life when its time for the day to slowly creep out and for the night to reluctantly step in drowning all propositions and postulates in the unfathomable cesspool of dark desolation. I sometimes wonder, frail that we are as humans and try hard that we may to clench and cling to every moment, however transient they may be, putting a noose around them and tying them up to our memories, what name will we bestow on those relations and friends whom we come to know at the fag end and fading twilight of life? Twilight friends! Most probably?


This perfect order

Of day and night

The sun blazes the morn

With golden light

Steps in the moon

Demure like a bride

Sprinkle of stars

Like a sequined sheet

The splatter of a brush

Strokes so rich and neat

The divine hand hath

In careworn delight

Bestowed his blessings

With splendour abound

We have nothing to lose

Nothing to win

Close your eyes

Forgive your sins

Take a deep breath

Realize Him within

Unto Him you belong

Unto Him you begin


I rise I fall

With the waves

I stall

I move on

As hues sift shades

Blue turns white

White a fragile pink

Pink mingles with grey

Grey deepens within

I swim in bliss

Morrow I may sink

But today’s mine

I struggle I strife

Coz I’m on the

Merry boat of life

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Yesterday it rained like hell! Much awaited, much coveted after a long spell of scorching, scalding, scathing, parching sun's wrath, it poured. And what a pour it was! All of a sudden, it was dark as though night had crept in without a prior notice. The tempestuous, floating beauties roared, collided with each other, thundered and melted in a scurry. The aqua angels danced in merriment spluttering silver splinters hither and thither. The wind joined the bandwagon and broke in gustily in a mad symphony swaying the big, old as well as small and young trees in a synchrony of anarchy. The roads were flooded. At one point I thought it would be impossible to go back home. The curtain of rain was so opaque that it prevented visibility even ten steps ahead. The water bristles sashayed and swept past everything and anything. The umbrellas fought a lost battle with the torrential gush. The existence of the planet seemed to be at the mercy of the cascading rains. Monsoon was at last here! It reminded me of my childhood days. The rains of 1970s when the city would remain submerged under the "showering inferno" for days together and a glimpse of sun would be like the blessing of Apollo himself. Last year it hardly rained. And the year previous, rainy season was just a few bouts of miserly drizzles. But this time, rain god was on the rampage. A torrential, turbulent, Bohemian outburst.The water puddles laughed gleefully when feet splashed into them wading way home. The children danced with boundless joy. The dripping bikers stood by under make-shift shelters grinning sheepishly. Driving in this rain was like surfing through an ocean hole. Cars, buses and other vehicles were stranded. However, the route taken by us was cleaner except the lashing torrent. Drenched like a cat I reached home late than usual. But no complaints as the euphoria persisted. The unkempt joy of reliving my childhood days of paper boats, wet swings, wrenching and squeezing clothes plastered to the body in happy wetness, strding through tall , slender blades of glistening grass, scanning one's face on the rain droplets resting on the cheeks of the broad lotus leaves and catching the sprinkles in the crook of soft, little palms.

The childhood rains were back again.


Glorious morn
Cool sheets renounced
Scrambled eggs
Steaming tea
The day begins

Chirpy flight
Wanton delight
Golden sheen
On the leaves

Blue sky
Breezy sigh
Petals askew
Blushing hues

No more a
Stranger to me


Trip, twist,
Turn and twirl
On the jagged
And pebbles
Laid by
Careless hands,
Beneath the
Gossamer sheen.

The stream
Even coy
Pirouettes by


If we have to encapsulate life in a succinct haikued prose! How will it sound. Something like this: Here is the place where I ambled around on nimble feet, rambled aloud, jumbled up thoughts and feelings, grumbled, gambled with risks, tumbled down the inclines and scrambled up a bit, stumbled on surprises, bumbled into potholes, fumbled my way out past the brambles, crumbled in grief on the shamble of residuals that I am left with and humbled, quietly mumble a prayer in thanks that I am still up and alive, a symbol of tenacity, a gift of the All Mighty!

Just ponder over this for a silence!


My eagerness
Distanced the world
Binds to perfection

Saturday, 17 July 2010


It was a “sprawling” graveyard lying in the comparatively deserted part of the bustling city. The Authorities deemed it appropriate to put the barren land to adequate use. Soon the ground was leveled and up rose the rafts on criss-cross wooden ladders amidst heaps of concrete rubbles - the paraphernalia of a massive construct was initiated.

It is rumoured that the construction failed to be a seamless and smooth affair as thrice the half complete structure crumbled down, reason unknown. The labourers would put up the edifice with due diligence till nightfall and come back in the morning to witness it pulled down to smithereens. IT is, I think at this juncture, that weird tales about unidentified presence started floating about the site. There were a few graves which were left untouched and still lie in haphazard order somewhat corroborating the bizarre surmises. Stories of gory aftermath akin to those associated with vandalization of Egyptian pyramids did the rounds. Half truths and obfuscated facts contribute to myths, mystique and the making of legends. This was the beginning.

Notwithstanding the uncalled for impediments, the behemoth was finally put to readiness – an architectural grandeur of pink and beige squares and domes; an assemblage of several blocks which were called “cores”, apparently exclusive of each other but internally inter linked through a maze of passageways almost like secret runaways.

The grand building was to house the more sophisticated arm of the government. Every floor was a wide, open, orbital space divided into rooms, cubicles and halls with false ceilings and vinyl flooring overlooking rectangular terraces, which if one crossed over, curved into the other core. Up came the chairs, tables, cupboards, cabinets, closets, folders, stationery, paper, files, photocopiers, printers, PCs, laptops, fax machines. Pantries were stocked with food, snacks and beverages. Water filters were installed in the corridors. The hustle and bustle of 9 to 5 working hours commenced. But along with the preconditions of a conducive work culture came “the others”, in surreptitiously, uninvited, unwanted, useless to busy executives and harassed subordinates, they stayed put and made it their permanent abode.

“The others” who roamed the floors on silent feet like a swish of air, a whisper into one’s ears, weightless, formless, nameless their empty footfalls plodded the place during office hours as well as after closure. They were always there. They did not disturb much and remained confined to their own clan. But sometimes, the night guards complained of muffled male and female voices, avid conversations and suppressed laughter. Strangely after eight in the evening these guards would shut all the entrance doors to the offices and remain huddled in the main reception isolated by the closed doors; sometimes even outside the office on the landing opening to the lifts. Quite a few years back, one guard chucked up his job without prior notice and fled the city after being a terrified witness to an apparitioned figure in white stalking the grounds at night.

Employees working late were often disturbed by the eerie feeling of being “watched over” and the printers and photocopiers whirring into action on their own volition. Two weeks back one of the guards taking a round after office hour unlocked one of the rooms to do a routine check. As he was fumbling for the switch, he received a smothered but curt instruction of the unseen occupier not to put on the lights. The guard quickly locked the door and almost bolted out of the office.

The premise boasts of many hideouts which when chanced upon add up to the creepiness of the atmosphere. Our washroom has a kind of a small trap door pasted to the back wall which usually remains locked. The other day it was slightly ajar invitingly swaying to and fro softly with the breeze. Curiosity had the better of me. I opened it wide, poked my head in to stare at a dark longish slice of space big enough to snuggle a dead body in. It most probably was a part of the main shaft running along the backside of the building. But it gave me the creeps and for a few days I had to muster the last remnants of my faltering courage to visit the loo.

The latest to this genre of blood curdling instances was the story narrated by our peon, Sompal, who usually sits late in office as his chartered bus, the only one that takes him home, plies after seven. That day his friend had come to pick him up and not finding the guards in the reception walked straight into the corridor which took him to the entrance of the hall where Sompal usually sat. The glass and aluminum paneled door was unexpectedly shut. As he approached the door he had an odd feeling that he was not quite alone. as he saw shadowy reflection of three figures on the glass panel as though standing right behind him. He turned back to find nobody around.

This incident could have shattered the equanimity of any jelly hearted weakling. But we are a department of level-headed, logical, slightly non-imaginative legal minds (I being an exception) who chewed the cud so much that the topic under vociferous discussion almost turned into a sour lemon. The intermittent debates that took place throughout the next day followed like this –

Karun said: “I am not surprised. This is very common in this part of the building which remained unoccupied for a very long time due to these unearthly invasions”

Kiran said: “What rubbish! Sompal’s friend was not in his senses. Better still Sompal must have jabbered about these stories to him which gave his friend ideas. Where were the guards?”

Karun said: “Even the guards vacate the place after a certain hour”.

Priyanka said:”I refuse to hear about such things”

Kiran said: “There must have been someone. Perhaps the workers renovating the toilet day and night”

I said: “And that someone vanished in thin air in a jiffy. It can’t be!”

Bidisha said: “But madam, it is strange. The corridor was well lit. How could he see the reflection on the mirror from so far?”

Kiran said:”Where is Sompal? Why is he scaring us?”

Sompal said:” Kya madam! It really happened. Although I sit late I have never experienced such things. But my friend was new here and it happened to him.”

Life is not a canvas with black and white strokes alone. There are certain shady, shadowy zones of grey, the unknown and the uncharted ones. Choice is ours whether we believe in them or not, but what we cannot surely overlook is the fact that they are intriguing, mind boggling and sometimes nerve racking too. In this entire episode wherein the unknown fenced with the known, I and Bidisha were the worst hit who had to seek each other’s company to visit the washrooms or the dark and deserted nooks and corners of the office even during the busy work hours.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Suddenly Delhi has woken up to the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. Trenches have been dug (Don’t ask me why; most probably so that we may jump into them and hide in shame when India fails to win even a tin medal in the Games). The potholes have been made bigger by haphazard raking. The pavements are being widened. Dividers are being erected. The roads are being narrowed (scaped is the official term). All the stadia are being renovated. Over bridges are being put up and DMRC is being pushed to complete the “metro-morphosis” of the NCR on or before time. Though, I don’t think it needs to be goaded into action as it is the only system right in perfect order.

But the moot point here is that all these things are happening all at once just a few months before the commencement of the Games at the same time, by a stroke of preordained divine plan, also eerily coinciding with the monsoonal deluge (though the rains are playing truant off and on). As a result, there are “happy” puddles and water logs all around delaying the completion of the mammoth task of overhauling the city. Not to mention the “euphoric” mishaps and accidents for the aam junta stumbling into gaping manholes and man-made gorges and ravines beneath merrily meandering streams and coagulated water bodies. Not to mention the soon to be triggered off water borne diseases in epidemic proportions. Not to mention the indefinite claustrophobic imprisonment amidst never ending traffic jams. Wrath of Nature? Or eternal human folly?

All this for what? Just to make the capital look upbeat and updated to international standards (with its faltering electricity and water supply system)? I am told that all these arrangements are for our “atithi devo bhava” who’d be arriving in throngs flooding the city a few months hence. For the convenience of the videshi athletes who would have found it immensely difficult to tread on the undulating, dented walkways of the rajdhani.

In the meanwhile, Ms. Dixit continues to enjoy an insulated existence within her Secretariat which looks more like a five star hotel from the exterior (I have never had the good (?) fortune of visiting the interiors) rather than an office premise of a country which has just recently scraped past the stigma of the “Third World”. On the other hand, the common man looks on helplessly while the taxpayers’ money goes down the drain.

The breaking news is that the city is going to be brought back to “normalcy” soon after the Games is over. That is what I have been told and people are talking about in agog wonderment(I hope they are all wrong). This means the roads which are now being sleeked will be widened once again to accommodate the every increasing insurgency of vehicles on road and the pavements now being widened will be brought down to shape so that the quintessential Delhites do not loose their age-old habit of tight rope walking between bumper to bumper traffic. So much so for the beautification of the city! A colossal waste of public resources and human labour.

At life’s crossroads, it is sometimes very difficult to choose between what is easy and what is right. In this case, instead of mauling and molesting the cityscape again and again, the easy way out would not only have been economical but advantageous too.

No road scaping should have been undertaken. The ankle spraining potholes should have been retained, as it is, if not made bigger and ghastlier in size and shape. While our desi athlete bhais would know how to circumvent the black holes of life, sorry , road, out of years of rigorous practice, the videshi counterparts would invariably bumble into a few. Result - muscular sprains, ligament strains and orthopaedic disorders of varying degrees (God forbid!) thereby inevitable detention from Games leaving an opponent free competition and an easy win for our country. Medals and accolades do not otherwise seem forthcoming through proper channel i.e. the right way. I think that must be the secret plan as well since MCD and NDMC have reportedly given up on meeting the deadline.

Correct me if I am wrong in my surmises since I am just a hapless layperson of this country and would be extremely relieved and overjoyed if proven wrong ten times and over again.



I was silent for so long
That I forgot my speech
I have so much to say now
That words fail me
Let's begin from the very beginning
And go back to the end
Start afresh from anonymity
To freedom once again

I did the colossal mistake of addressing a fellow netizen by the word 'kid'. He turned out to be a strapping boy of 18 brimming with the pride of new found adulthood. Chaffing was inevitable. He snubbed me back, a little arrogantly, that the word sounded strange to him and should be avoided at all cost. I immediately apologized and replaced the "kid" with a 'ji' suffixed to his name. And that somehow assuaged his hurt ego.

It was a "minor skirmish" which made me realize, rather forcefully, the quintessential difference between the two genders. Had it been my female counterpart, the word would have aroused coy sentiments even if she were a doddering octogenarian. No exaggeration there!

A true incident, gleefully recounted by my sister to many, goes like this. Her colleague's mother-in-law, teetering on the edge of life and death. The young doctor attending her placed the stethoscope on her scrawny, heaving, gasping chest and said politely ,"Mataji! please try and take a deep breath!" Pat came the reply, "Mujhe maataji mat kaho naa, abhi meri umr hi kya hai!"(Don't call me mother. I am not that old).


She is ex-Brabournite
I am ex-Irwinite
We are both Delhites
In our own rights
We both love verses
And literary discourses
Music and melody
Rapturous rhapsody
She is a literary buff
I am not conversant enough
I am the hesitant beginning
She is the end exalting
In a nutshell
We gel like hell
And quite a rebel
In our own rights

In short, we are friends!


There’s a veil on the chink

Let the pain flood in

Embalm the ugly gashes

There’s a veil on the chink

Behold the bud blossom

Sunny rainbow blushes

There’s a veil on the chink

Let the soul seep in

Rain soaked mud mashes

There’s a veil on the chink

See how the wind breaks in

How the torrent lashes

There’s a veil on the chink

I cannot glimpse in

And soothe the bygone slashes

There’s a veil on the chink

Stillness smothers echoes

Sighs the solitary spring

How the chime of joy

Dead silence hushes


Wrapped up in myself
I did not realize
That time has passed by
And I am left hither
On the shores of life

The wavelets lap up
Licking my feet
In cheerful deceit
Beckon me aside
And whisper a polite
Reminder, “Friend!
It is time to return


There's a chink in your veil
I can glimpse the snowflakes
Fragile curves and strokes
A few of your eyelashes

There's a chink in your veil
I see the luscious lips pout
Glitter the golden sashes

There's a chink in your veil
I beat with your heart
Rejoice in the Spring
Sulk in dark niches
When hopes turn to ashes

There's a chink in your veil
I creep into your leisure
Gaze on past flashes

There's a chink in your veil
So I need not try and fail
To snuggle through your self-
created impasses

There's a chink in your veil
I sneak into the truths
Hidden yet unveiled
Where life with death clashes

There's a chink in your veil
I flow into your veins
And swim in to feel
How the blood rushes

There's a chink in your veil
Like so many other veils
It unveils exactly
Which the "you"of yourself
So poorly suppresses

WILL YOU STILL.................................?

If you knew it was not the truth
Not what it seems
Not how you perceive it
As the solidified reality of "now"

Will you still be surprised
Agog with wonderment
Ruminate reminiscently
On the sublimity of the moment
Reason a rationale
Try and fail
Then wait for Eternity
To return history
On your lap?

Will you still love the idea of love
Let it bewitch your heart
With all its entrapments
Enchant your thoughts
Provocative as a mirage
Eternally sought
Invariably lost
Infinitesimally close
Infinitely ephemeral
Transience surpassed?

Will you still.............?
Tell me the truth

Await aeon
For the quintessential moment
In time when you met and digressed
In your linear mobile?

Will you still believe in it
Which can never be caught
In the grip of your fingers
In the glint of your eyes?

Will you still remember
Let it torment
By its tempestuous beauty
By its torrid torrent?

Will you still recall
The madness tempted
In the haunting nights
In the solitude of days wasted?

Will you still..............?
Tell me the truth


Those who traveled
Far and wide
To and fro time
In pursuit of passion
With measured madness
To seek the glory
Of knowledge divine
Devoured pages
Of ink and gold
And gained in return
Priceless ignorance
Clueless, they retrace steps
Again in endless quest
Of life and death
And beyond
In the darkened nights
Of fear and dread
I hear their tread
Their sighs and sobs
As they roam the
Roads to horizon
Screaming in
Frenzied desperation
“Illusion, it is just
Illusion, no more,
no less”
Befooled, bemoans
The wind in
Eerie resignation
“Illusion, it is
Illusion, no more,
No less”


Silence urges silence
Stillness purses lips
I am the mute audience
Of history's ceaseless drift

I believe I am ancient
In wisdom and priority
As I witness the world
Thus, unfurl as though a kid's play
Before my eyes

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I grope in the dark

And grab what is Thine

And give back to Thee

In vain audacity

Which never was mine