Friday, April 29, 2005

Today and Ever After

The day was turning out to be like any other. It was five in the evening, and the work was showing no sign of getting over. Shaaswat knew he was going to miss opening night again. He looked out of the window - the sun beating down on the limp leaves was winning the battle for a scorching summer. Everybody had already left the office. Yesterday. It was a Saturday after all. Officially, the office was closed. He, however, had to finish the project appraisal report today. He stared at the computer screen. The wallpaper was a mad rush of colours. Shikha had made that. "She must be at the auditorium now," he thought. He had missed the opening nights of her last two plays. She had been angry. More disappointed perhaps.

He started on the next section of his report. "She will surely leave this time." It was not just the plays. It was their lives. "This report will never get done. How did I get stuck again? " They were living together for a year now. Inhabiting the same corner of space. The old fan overhead was making a screeching sound. The sound of worn-out machinery. "I'll make it up to her. Somehow."

Shaaswat had been smitten the first time he saw her act. Crash! The open windowpane banged hard against the metal frame. A sudden squall had turned the sky ashen gray. He fastened the latch, to keep the window open, firmly. "It will probably rain. At least then it will not be so hot." He had stalked her for weeks before she agreed to their first date. The keyboard was suddenly covered by a layer of dust, blown in by an intruding gust of wind. He could feel the grains of dirt on his fingertips as he typed in the project schedule chart. "I've become so used to her now. Maybe that is the problem. We have become too used to each other." A bolt of lightning lit up the room suddenly, followed by rumbling thunder. "Ah! Rain." The air filled up with the smell of earth, washed by the sudden downpour. Another bolt of light, a blinding flash, and then darkness. "Not a power cut! Not now, please!" The UPS started making a loud buzz. "That will not last another ten minutes. How do I finish this report now?" In the eerie glow of the monitor, he could see the play tickets lying on the table. "Should I? But the rain..."

Shaaswat looked out of the window. The rain was getting stronger, washing over the concrete of a parched cityscape. He reached down to switch his computer off.

Disclaimer: All portrayed events and characters are completely fictional and any similarity to real events and people, living or dead, is unintended and purely coincidental.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Everybody's nobody

Everybody wants me to speak what they want to hear,
Nobody wants to hear me speak.

Everybody wants me to see their point of view,
Nobody wants to share my sights.

Everybody wants me to write what they think,
Nobody wants to read my mind.

Everybody wants me to cheer for their cause,
Nobody wants to be my comrade.

Everybody wants me to solve their problem,
Nobody wants to help me with mine.

Everybody wants me to live in their world,
Nobody wants to live with me.

Everybody wants me to run after them,
Nobody wants to wait for me.

Everybody wants me to understand,
Nobody wants to listen.

Everybody wants me,
Nobody cares.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Questions, anyone?

What more do I have to do, to get your attention?
Why are you making my life a colloidal suspension?

Have you read what I have been writing?
How, after that, can you remain uninviting?

Am I out of phase? Well! Don't opposites attract?
Are you just being cruel, or is it my lack of tact?

Ever written a mushy song between a suspension bridge design?
Or tried to think in rhyme while working an assembly line?

A 'hi' is all I want. Is that too much to ask?
Or is acknowledging my existence such a disagreeable task?

A buzz on a messenger window perhaps? Or did I make the ignore list?
Are you playing hard to get, or has my understanding of you hit a limiting Nyquist?

Who am I asking all these questions to?
I have no idea, just a distinct sense of déjà vu.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I seek you

In the morning dew on mango leaves, I seek you,
In moonlit sands walked on velvety eves, I seek you,

In the youth of a spring bloom, I seek you,
In the lashing rains of a monsoon, I seek you,

In the divine beauty of natural perfection, I seek you,
In a city riddled with sloppy construction, I seek you,

In a haute boutique, in the corner sweet shop, I seek you,
In a Mozart fugue, in the blues and hip-hop, I seek you,

In Guernica's battle raging in Frida's smile, I seek you,
In an ancient Indus meeting a desert Nile, I seek you,

In Bridget's diary, in the next Cosmo quiz, I seek you,
In a dollop of Tiramisu, in the latest diet fizz, I seek you,

In Apu outrunning a running train, I seek you,
In Subhash fighting bondage of an oppressive reign, I seek you,

In the rejection of a dinner date, I seek you,
In Meera's quest for her eternal mate, I seek you,

In the elusive top of a bottom quark, I seek you,
In the immortal I of Howard Roark, I seek you,

In the winning four of the one day match, I seek you,
In the smoking struggle of a nicotine patch, I seek you,

In the satiated hunger of war ravaged children, I seek you,
In the unwavering faith of praying men, I seek you,

In the shaking earth evoking fearless courage, I seek you,
In the countless unknown paying homage, I seek you,

In the caged wild, and the disappearing royal, I seek you,
In the shame of cheating, and pride of the loyal, I seek you,

In the revolution for future peace, I seek you,
In the rented heart with a lifetime lease, I seek you,

In the tired rush to work day after day, I seek you,
In the female child having her say, I seek you,

In the endless strife for an equal existence, I seek you,
In flowing blood meeting a calm resistance, I seek you,

In a flickering light-bulb occupying a village hut, I seek you,
In the solitary opening door, for the ten that shut, I seek you,

In the rhythmic trance of disco lights, I seek you,
In the hormonal angst of teenage frights, I seek you,

In the experience of the restless old, I seek you,
In the brash erotica of the brazen bold, I seek you,

In utter confusion of impossible possibles, I seek you,
In mute silence of exponential decibels, I seek you,

In shattered ceilings and transgressed thresholds, I seek you,
In quenched thirsts and satin enriched silken folds, I seek you.

In poetic justice for political vanity, I seek you,
In the maddening agitation against prevalent sanity, I seek you,

In a new born child's first unrestrained cry, I seek you,
In a dying man's last stifled sigh, I seek you,

In the ending of a life-long walk, I seek you,
In the risky beckons of opportunity's knock, I seek you,

In the mirror, us, from thou to thee, I seek you,
In my head, my heart, my every breath, in me, I seek you.

Friday, April 15, 2005


I am the last preference of everybody around,
Piercing silence in a medley of sound,

A black sheep in a heard of woolly white,
Everything I do is wrong, anything I don't, is right,

Wallowing in tubs of my piteous self,
Why, my existence is worse than Dobby, the house elf,

Bored to death of a bleached out day,
Searching for sense seems like that needle in the hay,

Suffering the ignorant arrogance of suffocating pomp,
Balancing withering wisdom against a teenage romp,

My speech has dropped to monosyllables, idiotic and terse,
All I do now is write lines of nonsense verse.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Very busy.

Too busy to sit down.
Too busy to busy to stand still.

Too busy to write my next poem.
Too busy to complete the impending report.

Too busy to gorge on a chicken burger.
Too busy to enjoy those sumptuous seven courses.

Too busy to find that moment of peace.
Too busy to fight through this state of unrest.

Too busy for chores at home.
Too busy to play football.

Too busy to fall asleep.
Too busy to daydream.

Too busy to do anything.
Too busy to do nothing.

Too busy to take a break.
Too busy to work.

Very busy.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ice Maiden

From a block of water, frozen,
Many a precise, violent chisel stroke,
Choose carefully your sinuous curves,
Every niche glittered with the beauty it evoke.

Preempted of colour by your elemental form,
You shine brilliant, in reflection,
Borrowing every shred of light around,
A divine aura envelops you to perfection.

Hypnotized by those sparkling eyes,
Senses leave my being, to service your smallest bid,
The creator bows to the lover's quest,
Enraptured to forget the act of breath, if you so forbid.

Hands in want of a sweet caress,
Touch, to feel your silken fold,
And as shivers prick a yearning heart,
All I sense is a damning cold.

Betrayed by the frigid kiss,
I stand in awe of your glacial essence,
In the fading darkness of a cursed night,
Yet my wailing heart I cannot fence.

As the day mounts in a blur of heat,
I awake from my enchanted trance,
To find myself, awash in receding pools of ice, molten,
Serving reminders of a doomed romance.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Past Five Days

After a five hour train journey,
And a chicken and noodles dinner,
Me and friend landed at a beautiful hostel,
Greeted with the sight of boys playing cricket, at 2am, on a floodlit field.

Single rooms - a luxury?
A 3am grilled sandwich later, we hit the sack,
Friend was abducted by mosquitoes later that night,
Hence no trouble in waking up next morning.

Three stuffed pancakes for breakfast,
Fueled us up enough,
To brave the trek to the seminar site,
Where we met other fellow aliens.

Talks, tea-break, talks, lunch, friends's talk, my talk,
And another tea break,
Brought us a lot of pats-on-the-back and two job offers,
The evening finale was a grand dinner.

A walk back to the hostel at 12am,
Friend, me and fellow aliens decided to witness,
The cricket for a good two hours, before,
A discussion on the problems facing the country lulled us to sleep.

Friend had acquired adequate protection, against the anopheles,
So he required a loud beating on his door, the next morn,
Next day a best talk prize, pumped enough caffeine in the bloodstream,
To stay up till 3:45am, and catch a taxi to the station.

Half past four, me, friend and the solitary cow on the platform,
Somebody forgot to wake up the poor train,
Another five hours, after the initial two,
Saw us back at home.

End of worries? I wish!
Another day, another presentation,
A five star hotel this time, in place of a hostel,
With cricket playing boys replaced by corporate zombies.

Lots and lots of food, and a concert,
And a grand meeting with the Head of the State,
Friend got invited to the palace,
Which instantly put his upset stomach in good spirits.

Evening, eleven, I come back, to find waiting in my inbox,
A mail announcing rejection,
My creation of blood and sweat disappeared in a puff of smoke,
I almost crashed the car on my drive back home.

Sad, and sleepy, next day morning passed in a blur,
I am left standing, I wonder how?
After five days of illogical existence,
Everything seems frozen in a precarious balance.

I am still alive,
The world doesn't seem to mind my existence,
The world is still alive, and I do not mind that much either,
And I am alive? Amazing!