Thursday, April 21, 2011


Love, laughter,
Seduction, erudition,
Pleasure, closure,
Peace, protection,
Passion, devotion,
Selfish deviation,
Practical satisfaction,
Comfort, camaraderie,
Effortless bonds,

Profound power,
to act and react,
on what matters most.
Stub ridicule,
Spite sarcasm,
Erase negativity,
Glow in the glory,
Of undemanding goodwill.

To smile with eyes.
To leave behind a soul.
To be craved when here.
And to remain when gone.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beach and memories at Fort Kochi

Ask me where the best place is to be,
Right here on the shores of Fort Kochi.
Lazing by the languid beach,
Gazing at the curling waves,
Joyous days past,
Gush forth overwhelming the heart.

A childhood spent rolling in the sand,
Screaming at the waves,
"Mother Ocean if you dare, come drench me"
Believing blindly thrusting challenges
Forced the ocean to throw
Its mightiest waves to wet tiny restless feet.

When i was younger,
There were no 
fancy antique stalls, bearded snake charmers and circus wallas
Haunting the beach.
Neither Kathakali evenings,
nor magic Ayurveda massages in vogue.
And yet it felt like home,
Naively native.

Today the scene has changed,
The rhythm fine tuned,
More foreigners throng this place,
Home stays and pushy guides
Orchestrate the tourist rush.
Minting money, winning hearts,
Selling the soul of this land.

Today i return,
Years and realizations later,
Witnessing a shore no longer endlessly winding.
Only a paltry cobbled pathway,
Much polished and posh,
And yet the shore
eaten up by the sea
Is starkly amiss.
The stretching sand,
Enough to play football n freebie
Is lost alas.

I am told the sea is gobbling up the land
Like a thirsty monster on rampage.
A row of moldy rocks block,
further intrusion
Of the thunderous threatening waters;
The beach broad and sprawling,
The sands i used to know,
Is only a treasure cherished in memories
Of nostalgic fools like you and I.

When i was younger across the ocean,
Stood the horizon.
Today stands an island:
The cherished project of the government
Promising wealth and well being for the land.
They say
The sand from this side of the shore,
Was swept across partly by ocean n mostly by man,
to form this mound of future prosperity.

Bathed in shimmering lights the container terminal,
Echoes the image of a cruise ship at dusk.
Its true it reflects prosperity.
But sitting by the bench on the adjacent shore,
Gazing at this massive construction,
Cant help but wonder,
Meddling with the ways of nature,
Were we shouting,
"Mighty Ocean, if you dare throw us a Tsunami"?
Coz when i was younger i trusted the waters,
Like everything else in life.
But today sitting by the sea
Distrust always lurks by.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Religion of Politricks

I rushed into the auto,
running late to work, 
gasping for breath,
I asked him to lower
the blaring radio
spitting election news.

As the volume lowered 
and better sense restored,
he started a conversation
that turned more a monologue,
as i remained reaction-less,
impatient and cross,
at this uninvited jabber.

"Madam this time the tides are changing!"
He exclaimed excited.
"Anarchy and decay 
have swept the land.
But this time the wheels
of fortune will change.
This time righteousness will prevail.
I have fasted and prayed,
Offered poojas at dawn
and showered garlands countless.
This time I have
pierced my tongue,
and pleased the family deity.
For sure this time, 
Amma will take power, 
snubbing the forces oppossing.

Madam i will tell you how
Amma is the one, 
Destined by stars divine;
Amma is the goddess herself Madam!
Yes, a reincarnation of Durga.
The Goddess fierce and furious,
The warrior who rages,
battles injustice,
and tramples vicious demons,
whose presence pollute. 
Yes she was born,
to redeem the land!

Amma is my living deity Madam.
Dont be scared,
But i was put in jail,
Yes, of course it was fixed,
False charges, you see.
My family and I,
Rotted in misery,
For countless days,
Unsure and tortured,
Until one day, 
A miracle happened,
The party rescued me
Giving me
a second lease of life.

Ever since i have been faithful
I have recruited and enrolled,
Big names for the party,
But i have never contested,
For it invites envy and quarrel aplenty.
I have no regrets anyhow,
For people come to me begging seats now.

If the party wins,
I will make my auto AC.
And take you around for free.
If the party wins,
I assure you,
a government job
With a snap of my thumbs.
If the party wins,
we will be kings.
If the party wins,
We will erase,
Not just the opposition,
But their questionable position,
On the existence of God. 
If the party wins,
we will replace,
all the Christians
Of this land.
For Christians, 
worship a God that is not Hindu.
But don't you worry Madam,
The party is kind to your Islam,
For did you know, 
Our devi was wedded
To a muslim.
If the party wins,
Together we will monopolize the offices of power.
And kick the Christians on their asses!

Madam I never let a Christain,
step into my auto.
If they do,
I ask them to leave, 
Never bothering about my fare.

Madam don't worry, your job i assure,
For the days to come will bring us cheer.
I can adjust with your people
But never with the cursed Christians".

We reached the destination.
I stepped out.
Asked if he needed his fare.
For i was a Christian
Who he had took for 
a Muslim.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Searching for solace,
Turning a page,
I dipped into the world
Of incessant beauty.

Away from the cares
Of mundane chores, 
The words took me,
To a land unknown,
Climes unseen,
And men of dreams.

The verdant meadows,
Sparkling sunshine,
Reflecting a piece of heaven,
Invited languid strolls,
Hushed embraces,
And promises umpteen.

Rousing the blunted 
Embers of emotion,
Longings for passion,
Unbound recreation,
The senses danced up
To a trance.

Groped in the grip
Of this sensuous treat,
My senses revoked,
As I smelled,
Pungent carrots,
Burning right in front! 

I am ecstatic! Thanks Jingle for the award! Here is the second poem as required...

Breaking Boundaries

Cease mentally dissecting!
Give chance to the voice within.
You may shed a tear,
You may end up hurt,
You may break a heart,
But never will you regret;
For once you did what you wanted
And never have to ponder "what if i did".

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tales of old

On a balmy night,
I settled beside ammama
Inside the ancestral taravaad,
Surrounded by abundant grounds and fields beyond. 

Dressed in spotless white,
Her tresses flowing over her spine,
She sat on the veranda,
Crushing the beetle nuts, preparing the evening round of paan.

Pulling her pleated tail hanging beneath her chatta,
I pestered her to tell me a tale,
Like the one she told the day before,
Of the river monster or of the evil magician who swore.

Straining her forehead,
She looked ahead,
Recollecting a fearful tale,
That would leave me tailing behind her for the rest of the night.

"Tonight I will tell you a tale of old.
 A story that never bores,
 If you see in your head, 
The events unfolding through my words".

In her matronly tone she began the story
Of her grandfather,
And of his lush fields, 
Streaching beyond the farthest corner the naked eye could reach. 

Veliyappapan as she fondly recalled,
Owned both land and men,
Was a man who found prosperity and contentment, 
In his labours on the land.

Once when the yeild was ripe and ready for harvest,
The caretaker reported unrest,
In his precious plantain grove,
Yielding succulent fruit.

Anger fuming on his face,
He walked into the fields,
To see for himself the destruction bought on by wild beasts.
In disbelief he stared at the dear plantains uprooted, rotting in a heap.

Instantly he deployed men,
To take rounds around the field,
To guard and protect the borders of his farm,
From a repetitive harm.

And yet again next morning, he heard the same!
The farm attacked once again!
"How so?! How so?!" screamed the old man in despair.
"When the night guards retreated after the rounds at dawn" came the reluctant reply.

Velliyappapan took his spear,
And marched to the fields himself,
With a swear under his tongue,
To roast in fire, the beasts that ruined his prized plantains.

He took his post atop the tree house,
Watched with pride the land ahead,
Saw the sun set and darkness envelop the terrain.
The village fell asleep, but not he and his men, awaiting their prey.

The generous moon gifted the light they needed,
To spot any movement in the lands below.
But nothing stirred that night,
And just when they were about to call it a night,

The winds carried to them,
The distant grumble,
A sudden rubble,
From the far north end of the farm.

Velliyappapan woke his drowsy men,
And ran where his ears took him,
He saw in the moonlight, 
Two mighty bullocks rampaging his precious plantains!

Seething with anger,
Screaming revenge,
Pointing his spear, the bulls he chased,
Like a mad man possessed.

He ran and ran with all his might
Behind the bulls.
Behind the bulls he ran,
Like a hunter determined.

And just when Veliyappapan thought he could run no more,
He saw the bulls ahead of him,
Coming to a halt!
Lo! Ahead lay the mighty stream they could never cross!

He closed in on his prey,
Saw diabolic pairs of red eyes,
Staring as he raised his spear, 
To plunge into their flesh.

But as he descended the sharp shiny ends of his weapon,
The beasts vanished from under his sight, Ayyo!
As if by magic or a devil's spell,
Leaving in its stead two cold rocks instead!

Perplexed I stared at my Grandma as she ended her tale,
Her face gleaming in excitement,
As if she saw the mysterious disappearance,
Of two full grown, wild beasts herself!

Seeing me at a loss,
She explained wide eyed,
"The bulls were evil spirits dear,
Possessing power to transform form as they desire!"

Scared I shivered at the prospect of such evil.
"Do the bulls across our fields hold such power?"
Panic stricken i cried.
Laughing, she reassured with confidence,

"Don't you worry child, 
The advent of electric power,
Has roasted to hell all the evil spirits, 
That dwelled in the dark and ruled the nights of old!"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Parched lips,
Bursting along the seams,
Culled dreams haunting spaces each,
Unquenched desires gripping every inch,
That and more strife,
Stir the soul to beat retreat,
Retrieve the treasures of indifferent un-want.


Brain, dead.
Mind, numb.
Conscious corrupt.
Dejection abundant.
Lonesome hour,
Plagued despair.
Heart, keep faith.
Faith, keep trust.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Fears take root young.
Fears take shape unsung.
Fear of roaches, fear of matches,
Fear of dreary corners,
And ghostly encounters,
But nothing beats the cold jitters,
That erupt when faced with stoic numbers.

Mother said "Numbers matter",
For they dominate every exchange hereafter.
Father said "Numbers yield power",
Shy away and be labelled slower.
Piled up peer pressure,
And divergent desire however,
Seal a steady decline into eternal numerical stammer.

The curling eights and sticky fours pick on the ego,
As fumbling attempts to command'em falter, turning you a zero.
Under their unrelenting gaze,
Stuck in a confounding maze,
Your only solace
Is to rush back from the chocking world of numbers
And find comfort conceding your fears in words.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Art Attack

It was the season of concerts and public performances, everybody who was somebody seemed busy with the cultural engagements that happened in the wintry nights of January. I decided I had to do justice to my self-anointed tag of a theater enthusiast. So far my exposure was limited to college plays. It was about time to see some professional live performances and be a theater enthusiast who actually went to real theater events. The ongoing National Drama Festival in town seemed the perfect place to start my journey into theatrical bliss.

Isn't there an old world charm in attending plays? It was the ideal, high sounding hobby I wanted on my list of social engagements. With hopes of being enthralled with sensational performances I went in for the first play, a Malayalam adaptation of Ibsen's Lady of the Sea. We, I and hubby dearest, settled into our comfortable seats in the plush auditorium custom made for live performances. Excited, I looked around to see a decent crowd and spotted a few classic shabby kurthas and French beards that brought back memories of my drama master in grad school. Loved the vibe of the place, nothing like being amidst artistically gifted people and pretending like you share their creative talent!

Three bells and a short intro later, the play started. A plump lady in her nightdress and a man in a night gown were my first potential sources of theatrical enlightenment. I waited with baited breath to be enraptured by the power of their performances. Three eyes popping at the woman, who seemed to be in some kind of a dream, made it clear that the play was an expressionist experimentation laden with symbolism. In the minutes that followed, I managed to grasp that the lady was longing for 'something'. Longing to go back to that 'something'. Her husband, our man in the night gown, was pleading her not to go back to that 'something'. But for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what that 'something' was!

A series of tortuously slow dialogues revealed that this dilemma of "to go or not to" was doomed to unravel at snails pace. Why does artsy stuff often turn out deliberately devised to test the patience of audience? The only hope left for salvation now seemed a change in the deserted background and the infectiously depressing tones. But that wasn't going to be. Our first play was destined to be this two-hour-long-irritating-rant revolving around "going or not going". Turning around to check the reactions of other viewers confirmed that slipping into a quick nap was the only escape from the tediously slow proceedings on stage. Although we went in with willing impressionable minds, we walked out convinced that the play was inherently insufferable.

"First impressions are not always the best" I consoled my visibly frustrated better half, who I had dragged in promising a delightful intro into world of dramatic art. The art lover in me tried to justify the abstract ideals the director must have intended to project by putting up a play that thrived on making the viewer wait perennially for conclusive answers and leave no clue as to what it was the lady actually wanted to go back to. Was it the lover, as in the original version of the play? I don't think so. It seemed in the adaptation, the directed intended the play to be open ended, leaving the audience draw their own conclusions. So there we were, after a clueless first encounter with the world of dramatic art.

Day 1, Lesson Learnt - Never to go for abstract crap.

Everything deserves a second chance. A careful scanning of the play schedules and I rounded up on a dance drama by an American troop next. "Its firangi, it will definitely be better" screamed the country Indian in me. With renewed vigor I convinced my hubby to not give up on plays solely based on our first encounter. Erasing the memories of the previous night, we settled into our seats in the auditorium a second time. The troop seemed highly acclaimed and exceptionally flexible in twisting and turning their limbs into abstruse angles. But that was just about it. Little did we know that what we were in for was a session of disjointed acrobatics on display. What the Director probably missed out on before embarking on a public performance of the play, was to have a plot that was comprehensible to the public. All right it was a dance recreation, but then it should have had some resemblance to what we associate as dance in the normal world. Headstands and somersaults do not make a play nor can it be passed around as dance! The theater wouldn't have turned as empty as it did if I was the only one who shared these views.

Day 2 Lesson Learnt - International troops come up with trash too.

As much as I wanted to act the theatre buff, I couldn't help the eventual realization that plays are not really my thing. The two professional plays I was subjected to so far were painful to say the least. Yet I wanted to watch a third play to confirm it would be sensible to bid good riddance to a forced interest.

So there we were at our third play. This time in Chinese. As if, not understanding the language would help! I assured my hubby we would leave as soon as the first scene was done, "You see, a third lousy show would be my final sign from the stars that plays were not my forte". As the lights flooded the stage, we saw a flash of silhouettes of the leading characters behind the nine doors with translucent silky curtains. Although the elegant start predicted a brilliant performance, my previous experience had made me a wary viewer.

Set in feudal China, the tale unfolded in a mix of Chinese ballad and modern dramatic narrative. The colourful floating garments and the pleasing oriental music was pure pleasure to our parched senses made numb by the previous sessions of patience tests. As the plot progressed, hair raising performances and hilarious scenes left us in splits of laughter. This one had it all. Undeniably The Amorous Lotus Pan, an adaptation of an ancient Chinese legend, was breathtakingly magnificent from start to finish! Beautiful, aesthetic and heartwarming, it was a passionate tale of love and loss. The divine music, the romantic dance sequences, the mesmerising stage techniques, it was all a revelation. By the end of it all the play had captured the hearts of the audience who rose for a standing ovation as the play drew to a close. Finally a play that revealed to the drama geniuses present, the simple truth behind the mechanics of a heart warming play- A play has to be a PLAY first. And NOT some senseless attempt at sounding intellectual with redundant plots.

Day 3, Lesson Learnt - If you don't know how, go learn from the Chinese!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Republic of Farmindia

"All animals are equal, some are more equal" George Orwell, Animal Farm.

Once upon a time in a lush green flourishing farm the privileged pigs ruled supreme. They enjoyed shamelessly the benefits bestowed upon them by virtue of their birth into a particular clan. This prestige however came with a price. As Spiderman rightly realised "With great power, came great responsibilities", the privileged pigs too had to naturally undertake all the duties destined in their direction. Whether they willed for it or not, they had to assume the roles of high priests, feudal landlords, learned scholars and competent slave drivers. Now to many, this may seem a comparatively gifted life, but only those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth knew the burden of constantly holding it there. A senile senior pig once exclaimed, "I would any day let my slaves take up my daily duties, but alas these innocent simpletons would find it too overwhelming to understand the intricacies of dispensing religious doctrines, handling economic resources and managing acres of real estate. You see, my privileged position comes with the great service i am providing to the farm community which my servants are practically incapable off!"

In this manner the cunning pigs convinced the rest of the animals outside their own sect that the deprivation and de-human/animalisation meted out to them was one that they completely deserved by virtue of their birth into a naturally incompetent and unintelligent sect of the farm society. They manipulated them to be content in adhering to their intellectually superior masters. Gradually they were lead to believe it was an honour to serve their benevolent masters, who had sacrificed so much for the smooth functioning of the farm society. It was indoctrinated into their minds that their existence was so lowly; it was easy for them to pollute their masters and disrupt their purity merely by their presence or contact. They were bound to maintain a safe distance from the privileged pigs and places of worship, to always speak in servile tones and to never ever question the dictates of their Godly masters. Their sole purpose in life was to make the lives of their lords as hassle free as possible. They readily took up the menial jobs of servant maids, farm hands, washer men and such like.

Life was running smooth, admittedly more so for the privileged pigs. Every one in the farm knew their roles, responsibilities and positions. But then suddenly on fine summer morning, the Swans started invading the farm. They were pristine white creatures, with a grace, sophistication and beauty that was unmatched and unseen of till that day. They came in the pretext of developing business relationships with the privileged pigs of the farm. They wanted the spices and the rich produce of the farm to take back to their cold, barren lands across the mighty oceans. In exchange they gifted the privileged pigs with riches and never before seen contraptions, which they claimed were the benefits of some kind of revolution in their lands.The pigs reveled at the marvels these white Swans or Whites in short, bought with them.

Of course the privileged pigs were seasoned thieves reaping the benefits of a blind society for centuries. Only the Whites were much smarter, and knew to steal from the thieves! They were schemers of the first order and came with an agenda to eventually dominate and evangelize.They diverted the attention of the privileged pigs into fighting their contemporaries in the  neighboring farms. They offered superior artillery power in exchange for rights to trade, rule and govern certain portions of the farm. Before any one could make sense of anything, the Whites were in charge of all the farms, all over the land!

The Whites ruled supreme now and the privileged pigs were not so privileged any more. The fully functional and totally one sided-ly beneficial social order that the pigs had so carefully structured, began to crumble with that cursed system of English education the Whites propagated. To the utter mortification of the privileged pigs, education was no longer a strictly guarded secret. Every dove, dog and donkey had access to it! "Surely if its so open a system, then the English education is deplorable" the pigs uttered in unison. They were content studying their sacredly gaurded Vedas in Sanskrit. The less privileged animals however made the best of the English education and with their competence in the language rose to assist the Whites in running the farms and gained administrative power.

Undoubtedly the privileged pigs were slowly but surely loosing their edge. By the time they realised the power that came with English education it was sadly way too late. The less privileged animals were now refined beings frightfully aware of their rights and deprivations. They planned to rebel and restore equality in the farm, but first they had to smoke out the Whites before dreaming of any kind of authority. Eventually, both the privileged and the less privileged animals joined forces to oust their common enemy - the Whites.  After decades of struggle and innumerable sacrifices independence was restored in the farm and it was joyously declared the Republic of Farmindia.

More than half a century later the Farmindia of today is markedly different from the feudal farm of old. The power politics has shifted and the privileged pigs now lead a paltry existence. The policies for upliftment of the less privileged animals, adopted after independence, has simultaneously lead to the steady deprivation of the once hale and hearty pigs. Inevitably, the present generation of pigs have to bare the brunt of the glory days of their ancestors. The reservation policies and quotas implemented almost half a century ago, is working smooth and steady in favour of everyone except the poor pigs. Their destiny remains to slog extra hard, score double the marks and yet remain in perennial  uncertainty of gaining a government job. And if they dare complain about injustice or raise a finger against incompetency among those in authority solely by means of their genius in manipulating the quotas, they are inevitably branded anti-social Castists and have to face the wrath of Crusaders-of-Social-Justice-to-Select-Sections-of-Society.

"In the Republic of Farmindia, all animals are equal" the national leaders may claim from rooftops. But the universal truth remains "All animals are equal, some are more equal."
Suck it up!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Silent Stalker...

Have you ever dreamt,

Of that silent charmer,

Following your shadow,

Watching your back?

Every time you turn,

To catch him staring,

He takes a curve,

Vanishes from your gaze.

You know he is around the corner,

Counting your every step.

Wonder when he will gather the courage,

To step up and blow you a potent kiss...

It may take long,

He may stray, court others and make you pine.

But for sure he will return,

Today, tomorrow or the day after,

At dawn or at dusk, after your prayer.

He will return,

To possess your body,

To wrap you in a tight embrace,

To leave you whirling in ecstasy,

To lay claim on the whole of your being.

But you know you will never know, when and where,

His hands will slither around your throat,

Drag you up close to smell his sweet stench, 

Force you to submit without resistance,

Make you whimper "Not now, not today, take me later."

You sense the searing pain,

You struggle for a gasp of breath,

You see flashes of haven and hell,

You swim in a pool of numbness later,

You slowly succumb into a serene sleep.

But you know you will never know,

Life as you knew it,

Has ceased to exist.

Death, my secret stalker,

You are a brutal lover.