The Smile

A million dollar smile

‘You light up the room with it’ –

They’d say.

She always has

A composed silent face

A seamless beauteous smile

 

People—men women around her

Ebullient, eloquent

indulging in incessant repartee

as she recedes into an ineffable quiescence

faraway–unreachable

leaving no bridges in between

 

The only constant –a halcyon expression

a turbulent mind – a little above.

 

No one can fathom the frenzy

of unrequited questions

of apprehensions and fears

That plague her mind

Behind the façade

of a smile–her sole defence

 They didn’t know—did they?

when she smiles for real

she has a Duchenne smile!

 

 *Duchenne smile—a genuine smile wherein your eyes smile with you

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Silences

Mornings are beautiful, promising

Nights-dark and challenging

Sleep plays truant and eludes

The corners of my eyes

That lie in waiting…interminably

Mornings bring people

The milkman, the safaiwala and the maid

The bright expectant and joyous faces of children

Sprinting in and out of the house

There’s no time to pause and think

Like in the nocturnal solitude.

The leisure of the night is not welcome

for I am alone then with myself and

with gusty thoughts raging

and I-

Struggling against my angsts

The silence is frightening.

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Nothing

It’s pain they say
That generates beautiful words
It’s hurt they say that begets poetry
But who’s here to compose beautiful words or inscribe verses?
That is just incidental.
When I pick up the pen and bare my heart
Rendered numb and comatose
by emotionless cold walls of people
Poetry just happens!

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Réveil

 Countless Buddhas

I –one amongst the multitude

No–I don’t need a renunciation

to awaken.

Death –

The leveller that marks perimeters to

ambition and revelry,

egotistical thought.

the illusion of control,

and to the self.

Any dismal loss augurs–

all that we see or feel

in the ceaseless demesne of continuous change

shall dwindle like an unreal enigma

and we be wiped  to obscurity.

Yet for the fear of losing life

I clutch its fabric as if to never let it go

While it pulls itself away sardonic in the eye.

The discernment is absolute!


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The Unsaid

We ramble so much

The banter-

consistent , continuous

I crave to hear the silence

The unsaid!

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Appearances

Appearances matter to you

It bothers you, if my hair is cut too short

Or too long

If my kurta doesn’t gel with my stoll

If my footwear is not

In accordance with what is in vogue…

Perhaps I am not the friend you would like to have

And so you want me to change…

 

But did you know, friend

That by asking me to change my external appearance

You affected an enormous change in my interior

Stirred my conscience

And caused turbulence, making me wonder

If my presence was a cause of disgrace to you..not of pride

Whether I had to be a part of your life….??!!

 

How I wish you had seen my bare soul

That weaves the pattern of your friendship in a way no one else can!!

You lost me friend, to banalities!

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Rootless

I am in a new land

The towering mysterious Himalayas

The chill in the air

The Eucalyptus and the Gulmohar

Tall, green and beautiful…yet strangely, not my own

Empty roads, stretched endlessly

Strange faces staring listlessly at me

It’s like being thrown into

Another world..like being rooted out

And planted elsewhere….rootless

The roots are still trying

To adjust themselves in

The moist warm soil

That has strange familiar texture.

 

But do you know

I crave ceaselessly

For that sure and firm familiarity

I crave each moment

To hold on to the warmth of your loving hands

That slip so comfortably into mine when we are together!!!

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The Holocaust

[Link to .pdf]

This was composed right after the visit to the Holocaust Museum in the United States.It was a very intense experience.

 

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Déjà vu

Déjà vu

It’s not new…this sentiment

of meeting and yet not meeting you

of being there with you –an elusive presence

 

We stand together at cross purposes

Not knowing ‘what next’ or ‘how’ or ‘why’

Flinging hollow words –raising a gulf austere

The ice has hardened much to sever

 Chasing an illusion—was I?

Manoeuvres of the deviant mind

It prides itself on love when there’s not a draught of it

Dead now — the love that has been

Must I believe the contrary bitterness  of  reality?

The thought is agonizing

acceptance imperative

Is it true then that too much love annihilates itself?

Spent, hurt, lost…

 I am yet in waiting for the fire to extinguish completely

Waiting to dig the embers

So I can collect the ashes as an aide memoire

of the need to kill the warmth of my being and turn into a rock

Hard, impervious and impenetrable!

 

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Abortion

I suffered an abortion this evening

No…Not of the baby in the womb

But of the one in the mind

Bizarre mind, mine that makes inroads to the heart and intersects it

The rupture and the bleeding spurted from the heart

 

Twas hurting and

Brought tears to the corners of the eyes

For some time now, 24×7

I had nurtured a tiny dream

In the silence of my heart

Of bringing a smile to someone!

 

 I gave the dream everything in my power

Passion, perseverance, Time, Energy, Concern and caring

I lived and relived in my imagination

Of watching the dream take shape…

 

The time came after much waiting

To see it happen right before me

The birth of the selfsame baby

The heart went aquiver with excitement and expectation

And came down with a thump

With only me left to pick up the dead remains of my baby

 My broken dream.

Someone taught me once, never to have expectations

It spares heartbreak!

 

I didn’t learn.

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