Friday, 4 February 2011


The other day I met Mr. A
In the market place
After exchanging a few pleasantries
He asked me finally
“What do you do nowadays?”
I stuttered and stammered
Coughed apologetically
Bowing my head, counted the toe nails laconically
Perhaps a tad too long
“So, no work is it?”
He gauged my hesitation quite easily
I said,” No, not that!
Actually I am concentrating on poetry.”
He looked aghast,
“What??? You write poems!
Well! My God! I did not know that for sure!”
“No, no, nothing extraordinary.
Just a few lines here and there”, I blushed.
“But still”, Said Mr. A
Squinting his eyes against the sun
While a hint of humour played in them
When next he spoke sarcasm dripped
From his every word,
Children aspire to become
Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers
You’ve become a poet
An achievement undoubtedly for some!”
I suffered in silence
As he continued after a while,
“Filling up blank pages with worthless words,
You must be making your mother very proud!”

Something stirred inside me
I don’t know what
But a few droplets of pain did sting my eyes
That night in a fit of rebellion
I threw away my diaries and notepads
Filled with “worthless words”
Where the dusty newspapers were stacked.
Next day was Sunday
My maid in a flurry of spring cleaning
Sold away the newspapers and
the jungle of “worthless words” just for a few pennies


A few months later………..
It was a winter noon
I was dozing in the sun
When my mother came up to the terrace
With a packet full of roasted nuts.
Thrusting the paper packet in my hand,
She said,“Good for health, have some”.

I took the packet and upturned
As I did so my eyes fell on
The scribbles shining in the sun
The writing looked familiar
Oh yes! It was mine
So, were the thoughts penned in pensive mood and mind
I could not read them but
As my vision blurred
It was not the dew drops
But tears that flowed unstopped
A little girl and her words
That had washed away in the flood of
Cruel snide and taunts
Worthless he had said
Not fit for competitive exams
But those were my thoughts
Precious to my soul
As the droplets smudged
The pouring of my heart
Somewhere in the midst of the barrage of tears
I was cleansed of my sin
Life had come full circle
The muse of a worthless being
Had returned to her in a packet
Of roasted nuts, useless though it may seem!

(This poem refers to a time when many a households earned a modest living by making paper packets from discarded paper, newspapers, books, diaries and note books)


  1. This is awesome! Grand!Loved every word. Its full of emotions and you know I read it manytimes 'coz I felt the pain wrapped in beautiful words.

  2. At first, I was drawn in because of the word ''tamarind''...a fav. of mine. I was thinking of buying few boxes of those... but it's frozen outside. I could not even unfurl myself under the warmth of my microfiber blanket...
    Then I started reading; I was hoping of reliving anything about this fruit I am obsessing with...but was surprised to have gained more than my shallow thought.
    Your words meant more...and had burrowed deep into my heart.

    In awe of your beautiful poem...


    P.S. for now my craving had been curbed...tomorrow's another day. Delighted to be amongst the living...

  3. Nayantara, thanks for finding me!

  4. Isabel, the admiration, you know is mutual!