Tuesday, December 27, 2011

When in the span of this night
did you cease becoming a stranger,
when did your voice as if in a morning prayer
calling me from behind, from across a dream
become recognizable?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I crave the lost taste of hunger,
yet I notice how the citric smell of mango flowers fill the air,
how in tiny ripples rain announces its arrival in my courtyard pool,
I trace the flap of the crows against the palm fronds,
I stare listlessly at the ants making their way in a hurry
I soak in the infinite voices of silence,
still its not enough to out crowd
the constant thoughts of you
I let the ocean be tonight,
interrupting our conversation
roaring in dissent
foaming around its mouth in rabid rage of rejection
in occasions i challenged it with my eyes to come lick
a slice of this tranquility
in which you and i were
the only part
but in the end i just let it be
claiming us-laughing covered in sticky sand-in a snatch of hurry
and tugging us back into its fold

Monday, November 28, 2011

The rickshaw puller
peddled my heart,
rising and sinking
as he made our way through the narrow gullies that
spread around like sensuous waves
of an enchantress' mane hiding within her curls
ancient secrets smelling of attar and lust,
holding to her bosom couplets of  forgotten poets ,
and sighing in remembrance of  her lovers from a better time.
With night wrapped around it,
filling the contours of my eyes,
 the half globe of the distant dome
through invisible strings of  faith tethering millions to it,
over it the moon holding a cup of venomous power
seeing histories run through tidal waves,
on the sidewalks barbers sat
shining knifes clearing
 white foams of fatigue
off jaded faces of workers
and hawkers who sell bronzes of fake mongolian buddhas.
In the moving crowd
violet eyes of young men
speaking forth  languages of civilizations
I have not heard yet,
cutting painfully through me as they pass and vanish
like glass glued strings of silk kites from yore,
I sat back cautioning my heart in vain
not to fall in love on these streets.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Its strange how I find ways into you,
losing and finding my way through,
in moments of inebriated calmness
as I falter my way across cobbled streets
and speeding cars and the glowing light bulbs of the night,

otherwise in moments of frantic search
for a misplaced ticket,
flipping through books, words falling upon words
cutting through it and  my searching vision
an old picture torn into four
in some fit of anger,
piecing it together I sit staring at myself, years younger smiling at you
behind the lens,
in amusement over something you said.

I am holding onto a branch leaning on to me with my weight,
my face a study in contrast
the sun hitting me on one side
diffusing gold into my hair,
and half hidden in shadows the other remains
soothsaying of  ensuing dusk,
I am struggling to look beautiful, pouting my thin lips out and aah,
you said, 'the tree is less wood than you today'
and I broke into the photo
and like that
and like that you owned me and that moment,
like that you own me and this moment
forgetting about the journey and its lost tickets.

Monday, November 21, 2011

No, I haven't forgotten.
I still think about it,
it comes and hits me
plunges me low
gasping for breath.
What you did to me
was to take a shot in the dark
leave a burning hole
that I try filling everyday.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

embrace me thus

Before I walked in groups of
red ribboned girls and boys in blue shorts
along the lantana laden paths
to learn notebooks full of how not to live,
to keep my legs together when I sat down,
to not laugh out loud with my voice tremors against their universal rhythm,
to not question the absurdity of being called a fragile leaf
eventually to be torn on an unbreakable thorn of a man's penis,
Before all the diktats on breathing walking sleeping thinking
when I was myself,
their fingers not on me yet nudging,
molding into forms as I pleased
unaware floating

will you embrace me thus
like you had known me then?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

She, Her, Me

I am She
I am Her
Some days I like my coffee black,
on others with a pint of whiskey,
there are days I cry watching Casablanca but
there is no day I like pink on me.
Yes I am bad at math,
but dude, anyday I can beat you in arm wrestling
I could have twins some day,
but throw a bomb next Tuesday.
I can dye my hair red tomorrow
and you can watch my thillana danced the thanjavoor way.
I earn more than the guy I am with,
I don't sleep with my boss,
but I could, and oh she is a woman.
Every third friday of the month I get a little mad at the world
and no, every other sunday I don't wish I was married with kids and
Some days I make love,
Sometimes i just fuck,
I am still She,
I am still Her,
I  just am not
every one of your stereotype.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nothing much of a story

Like a premonition
the two clocks in the room
stopped in unison,
stuck in an awkward spreading
at 9 and 2.

perplexed in the vacuity
of the abrupt end
An anthropologist, his subject
A poet, her lover,
and their nothing much of a story.

Through the Venetian blinds
time still streamed in
like it  had when it all began
over a shoddy copy of Klimt's water snakes

when like an effortless poem that came back
in an inchoate afternoon dream,
love  had come and
locked its arms like the lesbian lovers
around their recalcitrant minds
weighing it down with pleasant inertia
belonging in a pair of two.

In between there were
insignificant days
nights in a hurry
lunches missed
and dinners had on time
there were thoughts
disagreements over high necked pink sweaters,
post marxism,
a loud laugh in a silent room of strangers.

Time still sweeps in,
like stale coffee and yesterdays's winter

in the darkness of the night outside
over abandoned signposts in unfinished journeys

wearing down memories that will
have no retelling in some future gathering,

Still on a night like this I will say it
for you to hear,
this nothing much of a story,
for the sake of nothing
but love that was here
and knew it had to leave.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

..answers in you

On such a day
when I left my thoughts out in the open sky
to dry up, shrivel under sun's naked gaze,
tiny raisins of left over ruminations
to be picked up by strangers
and nibbled on with strange ennui
It bothered me
that like the pigeons that came picking after
leaving droppings of undigested desires,
how for my incessant questioning
I still rake for answers in you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Tonight while dark vermillion parts my hair,
in a hijab studded with wines of black pearls
that sings of a dreamless night
I have wrapped a secret whose
ends I don’t know, where lies its beginnings.

I can close my eyes and touch it
and hear you behind me
parrots from niches above us
flying into the dense clouds
casting shadows we cannot see.
I kept the hijab from flying
with the wind that murmured
apologies of delayed monsoons and a defiant sea.
You washed your feet on the marble sink
And I watched as you smiled at me.
I waited outside as you offered salah
And as if I always knew it 
like the scar behind my ear
that you'll trace with your fingers on another night 
I wanted at that moment to be
your prayer,
your belief,
your god and
 the earth you prostrate on.
Slightly laced with my perfume,
 I’ll return you the hijab tonight
and with it for safekeeping
this secret of a memory.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pardon her
stretched out haikkus
a butterfly flaps
In simaisma
where desert looked to the sea
poet he was born
i cant write haikku
even my cat purrs out one
i swear i tried hard

Monday, September 12, 2011

wilted jasmine flowers

Yesterday's jasmine flowers
lie wilted,
smelling salts of your betrayal
prod painfully into consciousness
sedated dreams of trusting  love.
In the mirror looking back
smudged kohl, the ghost of  an expectation, uncertainity of a prayer.
the rain has left,
cold lust remains peering over the rusted gate in
failed attempts to find searching glances of hesitant goodbyes.
Tonight I shall not wait with jasmine flowers in my hair,
Tonight my ears shall not hear imagined footsteps in the falling rain
staying on in the hurried lines of a poem,
tonight i will..if only.. listen to the telling arguments I have with myself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

...tears of a woman

To my astigmatic eyes
You are two stories untold
embracing in a lonely dream,
yet fluctuating apart in the undulating sleep.
When we make love
I discover my lover, my twin,
buried under centuries
of oblivious memories
reaching out to me in a moment’s fading scream.
And when you kiss and leave,
You have the face of
those countless averting eyes,
 looking away in awkward embarrassment
unable to face
 the tears of  a woman.

Friday, July 29, 2011

To Sivaramani

under the unforgiving sky-
the grave of protesting voices lost
in the dark commands of
ruthless engulfing black holes of history-,
the ashes of your bones
shall raise an army of a
 million phoenixes in rebellion,
the answers searched
with your death
shall be squeezed out of unyielding tongues,
the arms of power shall be bound
with curses of martyred dreams ,
a mutiny will be called
 with the words you burned,
and stars of remembrance shall shine

Alms of guilt

You approached amidst honks of impatience,
flittering from one to another to me,
your eyes scare me, floating slates of blank emotions,
your lips plead as of in a habit,
telling tales taught,
concealing pains worse,
your hands prod in anticipation,
and tug at my sleeves in impatience,
I looked the other way and
wished away as the auto sped,
your existence and the alms of my guilt.

ends of our past

If rain falling in careless emergency,
can return to enfolding clouds,
If wings could be grown back
 like lizard tails,
jettisoning failures mutilating,
I'll drift and drift,
and drown my tears, vanishing
in your impassive sea,
I'll fly and fly
to the ends of our past
and start again
from those retreating dreams

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A poem of mine, a photographer's rendition.

By a dear friend of mine, who reminded me yet again that friendship has weird ways of finding you. All the pictures used are taken by Raju, I can only say thanks and know its hardly enough.

Friday, June 17, 2011

...your forbidden land

Sediments of uncertain feelings
of you
incubated  inside me sterile
and broke out in violent rashes
of impractical unreasoned love.
Then I,
cartographer of unwieldy  terrains of passion,
lost her way in your winding labyrinths of desire,
An eternal wandering exile,
I became a settler
 on the fringes of
your forbidden land.


Something of you still remains,
refusing to exit,
like a fading stain of accidental encounters,
in echoes lurching forward in voiceless nightmares,
in uncertain ellipsis of unfinished conversations,
in shed skins  lying across my path
warning fangs of intolerance
snaked by,
in the first fallen leaf of autumn,
dancing death shrouding
your decaying promises
of my eternal spring,
in those hanging pebbles weighing down
frail wings of my escaping flight,
in the pieces of my rotting heart
lying like dead remains
of suicidal moths,
incinerated trust of
yesterday’s blinding love.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Waiting Return

When you came in,
my heart slammed its doors shut,
curled up in your lap
                 and left the world outside
life revolving unaware,
days submerging into nights
and nights dissolving in your arms.

When you came in,
seasons inconsequential,
                 in a kiss a thousand ignored past springs,
in the blinding light of your radiance,
the pursuing shadows
of anxious history abandoned .
When you left,
Time announced himself,
I dragged centuries along in conversation,
He moved in ennui his hands a second.
When you left , my love,
you left my heart ajar
in perpetual waiting
of that impossible return.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lunch Break

The summer air,
flames leaping,
kissing, burning,
           ceremonious walk to the canteen,
           exhaling thoughts, mind meandering,
imagining watching it rain
unearthed obscure worlds away.

Meeting you,
Untangling glances,
adamant in a transient knot,
seeing nothing of the watching eyes on me,
hearing nothing of the chattering cacophony
of hungry orderings or clattering spoons,
only you existed and
your eyes that looked back.

Between eating and walking back,
And chasing deadlines uninspiring,
For those few unsettling handful of seconds,
I wished my eyes wrapped on to yours would speak
words curled up in a difficult lump,
refusing to go down my parched throat .

As I walk back into my escapable turmoil
I see you waiting under the tree,
I smiled,
walked past and forced the instance
-sun bald, scalding,
you waiting,
your back turned to me-
into a dark panelled room
of escaping memories.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Malavarathamma, the goddess of the hills

Eyes wide,
mouth opened in a touch of awe,
coaxing rice balls, fish and ghee,
I was told of the Tusker god at three,
of his paunch adorable,
appetite insatiable, intellect untrammeled
traveling on a mouse.

When I danced
Time swirled or stood still,
I was reminded
my anklets rang to
the cosmic chants of Shiva's destruction
and I danced to provoke,
the anklets digging into my flesh
to be released from your endless cycle of illusions,
yearning to be consumed
by His unforgiving third eye.

When I moved in a whirlpool uninhibited,
to my navel's erotic impulses
my torso swaying to your gentle breath,
swaying palm fronds, ocean kissing,receding,
complex sexuality
lasya mohini.

When I faltered in love,
swooning to soft blows of air,
orgasmic touches of your dusky arms,
lips parted
enchanting flute,
you made me the tireless lover unsatiated
waiting eternally
unsatisfied with my worldly lovers.

But of you the Goddess of the Hills,
I never knew,
The one-breasted goddess of rebellion,
who lived in mountains undisturbed
one with the streams, the defiant wind,
and the dirty slush of paddy fields,
to you, I remained unacquainted.

Was it because you were dark like desire
your body smelling of
intoxicating earth wet
impelling snakes to mate,
that they refused to sing of you?

Weren't tales not told of magical proportions
because your nipple hard stared back,
with unbridled lust,
accusing fixed unwavering gaze,
and their hypocrisy, your prey?
Or was it because you were a woman?
unborn from a man's limbs,
his uncontrollable pelvic desires
or wasted incestuous sperms?

Why did it take me twenty years and four
to find you obscure,
in convoluted hierarchies of the divine world,
Because you were alone,unafraid?
concubine to none?
drinking elixirs meant only for male lips,
uncircumscribed by any sanctum-sanctorums
of the holy circles
of erring trinity?
Was it because your touch burned
my ancestral mother,
that they call me an untouchable today?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spider Hickeys

Last night,
while I slept
curved in a womb
cradling web of Slumber,
inhabited by affable monsters,
horrifying humans and amorphous in-betweens,
all speaking together,
lashing their tongues at me
in a language no stranger
of dreams weird incomprehensible,

You scaled and conquered my nape unbidden,
with tiny sticky octo-feet,
and left with no introduction
a trail of patterned
arachnid love bites.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Love Long-distance

Time traveling back and forth,
tensions crackling
across long distance calls,
arriving conversations over Skype,
delayed a little while smiles ,
its unsettling echoes.

Summer mornings lethargic,
changes arriving on a cartwheel,
vibrations karmic,
and confessions cathartic.
Coffee at an odd hour,
learning love in vernacular,
memorizing patterns,fonts eclectic
decoding cultures,silence detonating

In tiny cardboard boxes existences sensate,
unpacking monsoons in perfume bottles ornate,
sighs riding on ocean waves
crashing silently on my shore,
paradoxes so-real and kisses surreal
planning and questioning
un-planning and accepting,
undoubted, loved,
in spite of me
because of you.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Where do you come from,
the markers of extraordinary vigour
Of yesterdays forlorn
and tomorrows unpast.
Arriving unannounced
on your toes like a whisper,
leaving kisses silent ,
moist behind my ear.

Or in a whoosh of a blowing wind from nowhere,
lifting me,
swirling and then a happy pirouette.
Or smelling
of dried purple petals,
hidden in between
forgotten passages,
of musty memories and rust filled loneliness,
Or pent up frustrations
spinning upward
like froth in an ocean.

In a rush of anger
you’ll hit me hard,
the world wobbling in imbalance,
like breathing was remembering,
you come and go and when you wish,
leaving me lying wasted,
on words strewn,
shells from crevices inside
I never knew existed.

Strangers in a Metro

And then the same monotonous voice,
of the woman from beyond,
the doors pull apart and
with the crowd in you walk.
The winter chill still in your hair
we stood uncomfortably close,
smelling sweat of strangers
who pushed and shoved,
eyes meeting, fleeting
in unrecognized recognition,
And I wondered of have beens
in a world unenclosed.

Would you let me smell your hair,
and bite you on your neck.
Will you ink me little kisses
and watch me undress.
You'll snore through your nose,
and  I will have poems read out
I would think of you when it rains,
and you will smile in the middle of nowheres.
Frantic sex in dingy elevators,
smelling shamelessly of 
cigarettes and each other.
Like rats on our roofs,
dreams shall breed
infesting on insecurities that came with us,
and we'll fight and hate and loathe
and love
in vigour.

And then the doors will part screeching in defeat
when your journey ends and mine begins,
you will walk out scorned in love,
distressed with us ever meeting,
unlike the stranger in a metro,
whom I met and left
with no name
or memories to recall.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Remember me not in silence

You plundered my soul, gagged me into silence,
You drew lines and asked me to stay within,
My skin was never fair enough, my eyes not big
My history was an exotic song
to be enjoyed,
but never to be believed.

I refused to drink from Your holy chalice,
I didn't believe in Your heaven,
I defied,I riled, my thoughts I spit.

I was striped and paraded naked,
spit on and pierced in.
I was raped,killed in front of my watching children,
shot, pointblank, left to die.
then you took my last breath
and twisted it into a lie.

Not before I let out a gasp,
for I knew you will be looking,
If you find it
don't bury it in marbled mausoleums,
or under garish cement statues,
Let it out in a loud cry,
Whip it, and fling it as a slap,
remember to remember me,
but not in silence