Monday, February 02, 2015

Four Poems: In Kindle Magazine's Annual Poetry Special

It started probably when the local newspaper editors in the hometown asked if I would write a poem for the English dailies Coffeeland News and Kodagu Front. I did. Then that last minute thing when an extra space opened up in the school newsletter Diksoochi. Then in scraps of paper in class, between boring political assignments, through tears, the rain - a favourite motif, through heartbreak and a lot else, I have written poetry. My poems have only ever been for the pages of my hurried notebooks. It has often felt like a personal blasphemy to share them with the world. 

I am not ready for the world to read my poetry. I shall probably never be. But the first conscious step in trying to share these unchosen words has been at dear old Kindle magazine. They have a poetry special this month, with poetry by Gulzar, Pritha Kejriwal, Sharanya Manivannan and several others, and me! 

Read four of my poems here. Or see below for the slightly unedited versions, with illustrations from the issue.


Where colours make sounds,
Red for laughter, yellow for tears
Red for love, yellow for longing
This moment when sounds – still
Motion – suspended –
39500 ft in the sky –
Captain something called out
‘weather permitting’
It’s morning yet, I’d want to think.
Just 8am Monday. A long day ahead.
Years, months, we haven’t kept count?
This morning, should we?

In – suspended – time, the young sun
Streaming amber through the small pane
I look out windows, what I do when
I have to think of
- mornings
- rest of the day/s.
A river below that I cannot name
Turns gold where the sun bleeds
Yellow longing and laughter into the thin waters
The gold colour, rich.
Snaking up and down and to the sides
Guggling – I can hear – with laughter,
It’s a new sun
Shooting up to where it turns into,
(or begins)
As a pond. Gold, rich,
Yellow, happy, colour-my-days gold.

This River of gold is the one
Along which I (might) sail on a boat home
To our tent of blue and green
and other hues that shall still speak
when you and I have
nothing left to say of
our myths,
our legends,
our constructions.

(April 2014)


Were those my
sins that were
being soaked down to
their dry, vast skin?
Were they those
tears that, sometime,
I had forgotten to shed?
Was it the sheer
crystal curtain of memories
In the labyrinths of my mind?
Or maybe
the footsteps before mine
which had tread
seasons before mine,
and lived, and soaked,
cried in and danced over
on days like this?

Maybe those days, in a
different space, time
age and mind
come back – try to.
Mine thoughts,
they take a dip
soaking in that pool, wet, reveling
on days like this
when it is raining.

(June 2010)


I shall stove away all those
            things now
the books, the towel, the cigarette
five years, ten years, twenty from now
I will open an old chest of
and find your faded grey T-shirt,
the one you wore the day we
made drunken love in Delhi.
The one that smelt of you, smoke
and vodka and you and sweat.
The one I slept in that night and
            wouldn’t give you back
I will find that grey T-shirt
and soak it with my tears
hold it to my face
            breathe in the smells
that day when you left
taking me with you
discarding as dump this
            empty shell.
Like an unmanned carousel
bereft against the setting sun.

(February 2013)


Two rose flames upon my throat
and curry wine fish for himself. Rice
drumstick potatoes on blue white plates,
he cooked by the makeshift
Whisky Bar
set up right, off the kitchen workplace
besides the jar of rice, pasta.

Two inches high against the broken glass
I bought him when we first met.
Looking like sunset through a filter against the naked
yellow electric bulb.
Straight. Drunk always straight.

My lover cooked me meals
breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee
a drink – vodka, single malt.
He cooked me meals many
but ate my womb for lunch himself.

It was about the time
the play of light streaming through the large window
besides my bed, striking the jewel on my nosepin
unraveled the lover in me and unbound
the tormentor in him.
Waiting for the next meal.
Or maybe just passing the minutes
of that afternoon.

(May 2014)

1 comment:

Sujani said...

I love the play of words in your work till now in whatever I read. In this piece though, there are grammatical errors that may be justified as poetic licence if they were 1 in number which they are not. "cooked me meals" "glass I bought him" The preposition 'for' would have added to the piece. Right now, it's absence is glaring and distracting.