R for Rain

(The title is inspired by TTT’s series of poems such as this one)

I tumbled onto the world today
Ill-timed, inconvenient and desired,
Making mornings inconvenient and days long.

Pattering on the spaces between
I make everything lose –
Stones, cement, branches and reason –
And weak at the roots.
I create holes
On the ground – and in souls –
Where I fill up and
Dislodge memories and dreams,
That move around and make movies in the mind
And real life unreasonable.

Sitting pretty on leaves,
I tempt the eyes of the woman
Standing on the balcony with her lover.
As he puts his arm around her
And slowly leads her inside,
I ask the wind to carry me too.

I fall through the bars of the window
Onto the floor next to their bed
On the paper that the wind dropped there.
And continue to sprinkle on it – drip, drip, drip.

With each drop the paper softens a little
Until it is wiped clean of everything on it,
Tearing and crumbling as he picks it up.

And then she writhes and crumbles on him too,
Emptied of everything inside her,
Including the parts of me in her eyes.
She sighs and smiles at him.

I withdraw gently with the wind,
So that they may dry
And collect the ignored pieces of their sanity,
To face the washed world – afresh.

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I sit at the window and stare;
There are thoughts inside me,
Tangled into balls I can’t unravel.
And so, the words that escape
As the knots on them break,
Are from this thought and that,
A tapestry he cannot understand.

He comes in again with a painting,
“Look at this one,” he nudges gently.
I remember this one too:
The ripples in the water near the boats,
The boatman entering, not leaving,
As his teacher had showed him;
The hold of his fingers as he
Negotiated the curves of the boats
With a brush too long for balance.

These stories hidden inside me-
Pieces of my life, his childhood-
Are unable to find a form outside,
A form he can recognize.
These stories that make me –
The me before the tangles and knots
Took away the meaning of thoughts,
Took away my filling smiles,
And left behind an inexplicable pain
That refuses to go away.

These stories I cannot share,
Because the chains of my logic
He cannot understand.
Perhaps that’s why I’d put my self
Into everything in this house
For him to rediscover today.
All the old pictures and paintings,
The books and diaries and my writings too.
The stories are now in these things outside,
And its all that’s coherent to him,
And now – perhaps- everything that I am.

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The Melancholia Of Words

Inspired by this tale on TTT.

If we had all the time and words in the world,
We would talk of where work was going,
And discuss music and cinema.
We would argue the merits of each others’ ideological positions,
And watch funny videos, laughing at the silliness in the world.

If we had all the time and words in the world,
We would speak of the beauty of the mountains,
And of distant lands like Iceland and Egypt.
We would discuss our favorite foods,
And plan lunches and dinners.

But if we had all the time and words in the world,
They would still not be enough for the truth –
You wouldn’t know who I was
Or what I wanted.
For even if I poured my words out to you
Would you want to understand?

And even if we had all the time and words in the world,
They would still not be enough for you –
I wouldn’t know who you are
And what you wanted.
For even if I gave you all my words
Would you rearrange them to show me you?

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On dreams and reality

Inspired by random conversations and some beautiful stories on Terribly Tiny Tales.

That day at mid-morning, she stood at the window watching the rain fall and sipping on the last of her almost cold tea, thinking of old conversations.


“I tell you, I’m such a lazy guy. You’ll get a call from me one day,” he had said as they lay in bed one morning, before kissing her again, “telling you that I’m really late for work.”

“So what’s new? I’ll ask.” She had replied pulling him to her. And they laughed. It was only half joking though; it was half wistful, for she knew that it would kill her to say those words when the call actually came. Because he would be in another part of the world and she would be here. Because he would be late on account of someone else and she would be here. Because they would be back to being “just friends”. Because he would be in love with someone else and she would …she would still be here.


On the counter in front of her, the phone vibrated and she picked it up without checking who it was. “Hello?” She said. “I am so late for work.” His voice said.

She looked out of the kitchen window and smiled. “So what’s new?” She replied and waved, as he looked up and gave her his widest smile before disconnecting the phone and turning the corner towards his office. She turned around and sighed. Somehow she had gotten lucky – she had got a few days to live that conversation from long ago.

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(I wish I could name this)

I fall into the depths
Of words, of memories, of images, of people,
And emerge into the emptiness
Of emotion, of tears, of joy, of me.

I am alone;
But I am all one with you,
And you and you and you.
I touch your pain,
And see your thoughts.
I give you my happiness,
And suck your love into me.
I feel your stories,
And smell your sorrow.
I float on your words,
And drown in your music.
I imagine your pictures,
And decipher your smile.

I know you and you and you.
I am all one with all of you.
So I am not alone,
I am all many inside me.

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I surrender

“If you want to listen to thumri, listen to Girija Devi.” I was told this morning. So I opened youtube, searched for Girija Devi and played the first thumri that popped up, “Piya nahin aaye” in Desh Raag. I am of course, very much a novice explorer in the world of music and will listen to anything once. The music moved me, but I did not notice the lyrics at all. And then got caught up in morning rush hour.

Mid morning, I settled down to work in a partly open cafeteria, the trees swaying vigorously in the Monsoon breeze and played Girija Devi, getting caught up in work again. Until the rain started pouring down ominously, falling so loudly on the roof that it became impossible to concentrate on anything else. The sky darkened and the fans and lights started swaying dangerously. I looked up to see sheaths of rain entering sideways into the cafeteria and people sitting near the sides moved away. Since I couldn’t work, I listened to the music and heard these words,

“Piya nahin aaye

Kaali badariya barse maa re.”

I am seeker of patterns, trying to make sense out of meaningless data. “You are so data driven”, someone said to me recently. Give me data, any data, events, numbers, words, pictures and I will analyse and infer the crap out of it in search of “understanding”.

And yet, on days like today, I surrender to data. I stop looking for meaning. It is impossible to make sense of this combination of music and words – its beauty and emptiness and the beauty in the emptiness which simultaneously leaves a hole inside me and a smile on my face. Which leaves me alone and elated, hopeful and hopeless, one and many.

So I surrender.  I accept everything that comes my way today. And think of Siddhartha at the river bank again.

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The Secrets of Walls

A scream entered the wall,

Piercing the concrete and settling in its centre;

The scream that held her tired breathing,

Her squeezes of his hand, her whispers in his ears,

And his thrusts against her body.

There the scream met another scream,

Hiding deep in the concrete,

Shaken and beaten, dying a slow death.

The other scream held her gasping breaths,

His squeezes of her hands, his words in her ears,

And her pushes against his body.

“Doesn’t she have a lovely smile?” The scream asked.

“She smiles?” The other scream asked in surprise.

“In the end she always does…”

“But I’ve never seen the smile.”

“Oh, you must be an unhappy scream.”

“Or may be, you are a scream of relief, and me of happiness.”

“How will we ever know?”

“Hmm…we could ask her?”

“Does she even know?”


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