Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Unspoken benediction of calamities

26th January 2001. Republic day of India.
A holiday. A friday. A long weekend.
A devastating quake struck Gujarat, my home state in India.I was going home to Ahmedabad from Pune.
I reached Ahmedabad 20 mins after the quake.
This poem depicts my views on the quake and
the events in its aftermath. My attempt is to
see something good in this devastation.
The good is quite subtle.

A holiday.
A bright sunny morrow.
In the kitchen preparing my tea.
A spoonful of sugar as I took,
oh dear! the whole kitchen shook.

As I sat on the porch to read a book,
I fell on my back as the whole porch shook.

We scurried out in the open for our lives;
it was the speed of man versus that of quake.
We soon realized it was a mighty one
as it left thousands dead, in its wake.

Buildings pulverized to dust in seconds,
people crushed under the rubble.
The initial shock gave way to wail
for father, son, aunt and uncle.

When nature and man come face to face,
ironically, his home becomes the most dangerous place.

To save those alive from under the debris,
the youth pulled up their socks.
They began clearing the rubble,
ignoring the threat of aftershocks.

Commoners became heroes fighting against all odds.
To the rescued, the rescuers became the Gods.

Yesterday's perfunctory hug was an emotional necessity today.
A casual touch gave goose bumps today.
Unity in diversity was a redundant thought today
for mankind had just one caste, one religion today.
Life, in its rarity, was invaluable today.
Being alive was a reason to celebrate today.
'Mine' and 'yours' met obsolescence today;
'ours' was the rule of the day today.
Business for once gave way to humanity today.
In the sepulchral silence, an infant's cry had nuances today.
Man humbly realized 'Who is the Boss' - today.

In the ubiquity of calamitous death,
life survives.
In the worst fury of nature,
the spirit of humanity thrives.

As the wailing subsided
and the quake became a hazy memory,
the spirit of business took over
that of humanity.

The aids were picketted by ad hoc owners,
who sold them at a premium to fancied buyers.
Rehabilitation was a titanic task,
as land now belonged to land sharks.

Bemused, I chuckled at the irony
called man.

To show man what matters most,
to make him value the things right,
to bring him closer to humanity,
to keep his heart loving and pure,
shouldn't apocalypses perform
a more frequent encore?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Roads to Heaven

My first attempt at comedy and prose.


Old habits die hard. The aphorism stands true for any city and its 'city-zens' as well (Hope the purists would let me get away with the contortion). Also, older the city, harder it is to kill those habits. Hyderabad, the Nizam's city, which has held its own for the last few centuries is leading the IT revolution in India. The city, which was once ruled by the Nizams, has its roads still ruled by the direct or indirect posterity of the Nizams who are born with a license to fly on the roads.

The sleepy city of Hyderabad did see some rapid progress and light of modernity under the aegis and patronage of Chandrababu Naidu. Good roads and supporting infrastructure were built quite rapidly, but not fast enough to support the sudden rise in population which was the IT fallout. The result is for all to see. Traffic jams, accidents and pollution. Also, the traffic etiquette of the people make them as deserving of these good roads as celebrity marriages are for the contention of eternity.

My office is at a distance of twelve kilometres from home. For this much commuting, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that no two consecutive days pass without an accident materializing in front of my eyes. I'd rather keep aside the aside and hark back to relevance.

Did I say that Hyderabadis do not follow any traffic rules? No way.
Having stayed in Hyderabad for around three years, I dare say that, after all, there are certain rules that Hyderabadis swear by.

First: The distance between your vehicle and the one that immediately preceeds you should not exceed fifteen centimetres.

The autodrivers religiously follow this rule. They're always in a hurry to meet the Gods and take the lucky passenger along. Almost always, they run on a short deadline, a privilege denied even to the Prime Ministers.

Second: Green signal - drive fast. Yellow signal - drive faster.

This is the thumb rule. Even if, all one is going to do is meet an old friend at a paan shop and take a fag. Blame it on the crowd. What can a hapless individual do when everyone before and after him pushes the paddle at the remotest hint of the yellow signal?

Third: Colour blindness to red.

Red signals are very reverently treated as red herrings that are not supposed to be focused on or complied with while driving lest the ensuing driver, who almost invariably assumes you're going to ignore it, would bump into you.

Fourth: Zebra crossings are a mark from whereon you start applying the brakes, provided its been atleast five seconds since the red light was flashed. Otherwise, just vroom. Alternately, if there is a motley bunch leading you at the crossroad and has so far prevented the perpendicular flow of traffic in either directions, you are welcome to give a raise and augment the tail.

And if you think the above rules are a perfect recipy for an early appointment with God, you stand guilty of judging things too soon.

Fifth: Do not follow any rule. :-) ..

Signal right and then take a left.

Or signal left at the middle of the crossroad and turn immediately without a thought for the driver behind who is to run out of all the 'hard earned' luck very soon. You hear two sounds thereafter. A deafening din of the crash and an exasperated cry - 'What the @#$%'.

And the best of all, don't bother to show any signals. Just take a turn whenever you feel like and just hope that the following drivers have oiled and repaired their brakes in the recent past. If not, who cares. Both will go to the nearest garage very cordially. After all, the Nizams never fought on the road.
But if one or both are a posterity of lesser mortals, a fracas ensues. In the eventuality, the one with a larger frame and then the one with a better vocabulary in profanity, in that order, wins the duel. Profanity, in such cases, gives instant relief denied even to prayers.

And then there are the pedestrians who, in the presence of thoroughly incompetent traffic police, take matters in their own hands. They jaywalk by showing hands and stopping the rush of traffic in full throttle. But this may be a fearlessness acquired more out of natural necessities than anything else. He might just reach the wall adjoining the pavement and answer nature's call. He risked the traffic for this because he wouldn't want to pass it under his revered, late Chief Minister's statue. We hyderabadis love our legacies you see. And then there are stretches of roads that stink so obnoxiously due to this, that a daily passerby would gain enough immunity to survive Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

Multiple unsuccessful attempts have been made to free Hyderabad of this chronic recidivism. We need a more concerted effort on the part of the government, media and public to ensure our city is a better and a safer place to live in.
The sooner we realize this, the better.

Cities we build,
Characters we don't.
Joblessness we survive,
Lifelessness we can't.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Pregnant Walk

I'm learning to walk.
I fall at almost every step.
Every step is cheered and applauded.
I'm too slow for people.
But they wait for me with open, inviting arms.
The wait is a pleasure to them.
I'm a toddler in the making.

I learnt and forgot how to walk.
I almost fall at every step.
Every step evokes a rueful sigh.
I'm too slow for people.
They wait for me with an eye on their watches.
The wait is a burden to them.
I'm an octogenarian in the making.

This poem was listed as "Highly Commended" read for the month of October 2014 by Destiny Poet UK.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I'm alone now

I'm alone now.
I'm one with my 'Self' now.
I've my thoughts for company now.
There is no red herring now.
I've my mind to conquer now.
I've intuition to channelize now.
I've my creative space to harness now.
I've eternity to grasp now.
I've God to fathom now.
The imminent is immanent in me now.
The horn of cornucopia is to flow through me now.
I'm alone now.

Monday, November 29, 2004

We, the people

Forbearance we trivialize,
passion we idolize,
wars we ratify
and then pique we pacify.

Verity we transmogrify,
anger we mollify,
beauty we sanctify,
faces we beautify,
but thoughts we don't purify.

Vanity we gratify
pelf we glorify,
hypocrisy we dignify,
fame we exemplify,
rumours we amplify,
vices we justify,
love we mortify,
humanity we classify
and then unity we diversify.

Innocence we petrify,
achievements we magnify,
rules we defy,
truth we falsify,
success we personify,
complexity we simplify,
faith we mystify,
Gods we deify
and then prophets we crucify.

Monday, November 22, 2004


The sun is dying a contented death,
having seen her all day long.
The moon can't wait for the night vigil,
to save her from the earthly throng.

Here she comes from behind the opaque
in her ever so graceful gait.
To take her in my loving arms,
Oh God! I just can't wait.

My first sight on her and I knew,
I know her not from this life.
Astral partners we have been
in joy and in strife.

Her smile and her dimple,
Oh! so deep.
A cursory glance
and my heart skips a beat.

Her eyes meet mine
and weaken my heart's fortress,
she is and always will be,
my enchantress.

In the eternity of the preordained
where we all are just channels,
do we really have a choice?
Or are our choices already taken?
Did Einstein toil for intellect?
Did Freud struggle for thoughts?
What explains avarice of Midas?
So many sins unpardoned;
but for the treachery of Judas.
Why reason Hitler's quest for power?
Why judge my love for her?

Why the eternal love we bind
by the shallow comprehension of human mind?
Why see it from the pivot of mortal axes?
Is it not beyond religion,caste, race or sexes?

Not my fault - in every glimpse of her,
I'm reborn.
Not my fault - in her vanishing act,
I die a million death.
One glimpse of her, and
in the breeze of serenade,
the flag of my heart unfurls.
So where lies the crux?
We both are girls.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Tree on the Highway

My roof is the sky.
The highway passing by,
the decades that just fly
in time's lullaby.

With time, as I grew,
from a seed - the tree concealed, 
to a tree - the seed revealed,
many a sun I bore on my hood,
many a storm I withstood,
many rains lashed me wet,
many autumns undressed me naked.

One such morning, a bunch of kids
came under my shade
and played pranks they'd long cherish
as their escapade.
Some clambered up a branch
and tied it with a string
and then enjoyed themselves
with my fruit and their swing.
How I wish,
I could move around like this.

One such afternoon, a couple in love
came under my shade.
Away from the crowded town
their car had sped.
She uncoifed her tresses
and in the warm breeze let them sway.
The look on his face said it all
as he had a million poems to say.
He looked around to give the spies a miss
and then on her lips, planted a loving kiss.
She blushed, and into his arms coyly cuddled,
as in the lonely shade they canoodled.
How I wish,
I could express my love like this.

One such evening, a few old men
trudged under my shade.
The blade of their life
now had a blunt edge.
As materialism lost its sheen,
they pondered over 'What does life mean?'
Nostalgia rushes their blood flow,
resplendent visage in twilight's glow.
The state of mankind makes them upset.
the pregnant gaze at the distant sunset.
How I wish,
for these oldies, I knew what to wish.

One such night, a few men came
under my lunar shade.
They mumbled sweet nothings and
pulled out an axe and a spade.
Leaves rustled as I shuddered;
they were here to slain and deracinate.
A piercing blow of the axe,
how I wish, 

I could evade.

Alas!! I moved, far from that highway,
but only after my life was taken away.
Now I'm a chair here, a sofa there, a table far away
The tree that was on the highway.
How I wish,
I could've moved alive in one piece.

Now I hear that in my place
runs the widened highway.
For man's unending need
I had to give way.

One more from nature's bequest,

sacrificed for man's mad quest.
Now on the highway
there aren't many trees
for kids to climb on,
for love birds to take cover,
for oldies to pull over.
How I wish, 

there were more trees
to tell stories like these.

Monday, October 25, 2004

When Man kills God

When all that matters is material excess.
When mammon and fame become parameters of success.
When mortal success is the only thing pertinent.
When eternal human values become wholly irrelevant.

When man finds excuses to divide and discriminate
through religion, caste, colour and race.

When the eternal commandment of "Follow My Path,"
is misconstrued as "Follow My Religion."

When greatness of religion is sought in numbers,
proselytizing gives birth to communal embers.
When even charity ceases to be unconditional,
it becomes a tool for religious ambition.

When religious bigotry is rule of the day.
When fundamentalism is having its say.
Misinterpretation of holy text ruins humanity.
Secular voices drown in communal frenzy.

When Christ becomes greater than Allah.
When Krishna becomes better than Rama.
In these comparisons -- man mortalizes God.

When a man kills another in the name of God,
he kills, not man, but his own God.

Monday, September 27, 2004

A Poem on Poetry

In this very moment,
right here and now,
I think about my thoughts
and wonder what, why and how.

I jot down the random musings
as and when they come,
and wonder in amazement
as beautiful poems, they become.

At the first glance, I wonder
who gives me this thought?
Whom to thank for this gift
that could neither be bought nor taught.

But on a closer introspection
which I sometimes do,
something within me stirred
as I heard Him say, "I do".

Now the clouds of doubt cleared, 
and the sunshine of clarity bathed me through.
The bird of my thought was now uncaged
as in unbridled glory my thoughts flew.

In an infant's innate bliss,
in our self imposed stress,
in a toddler learning to talk,
in an old man's trudging walk,
in the beauty of a nymph,
in the ecstasy of a triumph,
in a beggar's expectant eyes,
in man's perennial avarice,
in the silence of the tomb,
in the unborn's kick through the womb
and mother's painful pleasure,
in love, the joy beyond measure,
in the growth of a tree
and in life's mysterious travel,
there is always some poetry
waiting for us to unravel.

If the thought doesn't come to you
like bliss to an infant,
like flight to a bird,
like swim to a fish,
like leaves grow on trees,
it would rather not come.

If you don't value things that don't matter.
If you can't see beyond
the physical scope of a human eye,
poetry is something, 
you'd rather not try.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Gift

Dawn's horizon still very dark,
the first yawn's of the lark,
a distant dog's intermittent bark,
the first glimpse of sun's arc,
in my heart, kicking a spark.

The first rays of the morning,
the shadows of the awning,
the growing clarity of brightness
slaining obscurity of darkness.

The first drizzle on the shore,
pleasantries of the petrichor,
myriad moods of the rain:
farmer's delight, traveler's pain.
The dewy creepers lying low,
the sublimity of the rainbow.

The vastness of the ubiquitous sky,
punctuated by birds on the fly.
The blossom of the flowers
and their alluring powers.
Pigeons' courting games on the perch.
Silence of the mosque, grandeur of the church.

In the patter of the rain,
in the sigh of the breeze,
in the hiss of the stream,
in the rustle of the leaves,
in the barking of the dog,
in the crowing of the cock,
in the carefree songs of the cuckoo,
God sang for me too.

But in the mortal quest of my name
and the unquenched thirst for pelf and fame
In my daily rush and hurry
and the unseen baggage of worry,
these simple gifts of nature I miss
and deprive myself of the 'so-near-yet-so-far' bliss.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Perennial Search For ...

Once upon a time, 
there were two kids.
One was brilliant and ambitious,
while the other average and hedonist.

One's life was epitome of meritocracy,
other's was a hallmark of mediocrity.

One eased his way to a reputed MNC,
other struggled his way to a local company.

One's progress was exponential,
while other's graph was horizontal.

One started dealing in targets.
As they got steeper and stiffer,
his personal life began to suffer.
His past reputation 
was ever at stake,
under the burden of expectations
his proud head would sometimes ache.
Fear of failure had driven him so far,
the door to recovery wasn't even ajar.
Other's target was to start at nine
and to end at five,
and to gleefully return
back to the hive.

One was a dream introduction.
For his wife, he was a priceless possession,
a la - an diamond necklace,
to be proudly displayed at parties.
But in home's loneliness
he was as useless as a necklace.
Other was an unenviable introduction.
Food for conceit there wasn't any
in being his wife.
But he was always there for her
through joy or strife.

One didn't realize when
his son became a toddler.
The other egged his son on
to take his first steps.

One's kid had to be shown his
dad's snaps
to reinforce his image.
Other was always back before
his son's ephemeral memory gave way.

One's wife'd now had enough of being envied;
she now hankered for a solitary moment with him.
Other's wife'd now had enough of those moments;
she now wanted to be envied.

Kid's grew.
One's kid had enough of swanky toys;
he now wanted his dad to play with.
Other's kid had played enough with his dad;
he now wanted swanky toys to play with.

One's family had the material accoutrements of happiness
but none emotional.
Other's family had it all
but lacked the realization.

One's problem was one dimensional progress
where his family had no place.
Other's problem was underestimating what they had
and overestimating what they didn't.

Why is the distant road always better laid?
Why is the grass always greener on the other side?
Is there a dwelling where the elusive
absolute happiness would just come and stay?
if there be one,
Oh God! show me the way.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Mind Monologues

Am I really independent
if I'm bound by time?
If I desire something, 
will that ever 'really' be mine?
Although a mere mortal,
am I not divine?

When I'm the fire,
will it ever burn me?
When I'm the water,
will it ever drown me?
When I'm the air,
will it ever smother me?
When I'm the earth,
will it ever 'home' me?
When I'm the ether,
will it ever dissolve me?
When I'm the killer, the killed and
the act of killing,
will I ever curse, pity and condemn me?
When I'm the soul,
will I ever die?
When I'm the God,
will I ever try?

College lectures - I never conquered

I came.
I saw.
I heard.
I slept.

My Tale

It's cold. It's biting cold.
People wearing warm clothing
but still shivering.
I don't have any.
I don't need any.

I'm a nuisance to the society.
Foraging is not easy,
I wait at shops and houses
with expectant begging eyes.
On good days, I'm fed;
mostly I'm shoved, kicked or plainly ignored.

I'm infamous for jaywalking.
Nobody taught me how to cross roads.
If I set out to cross them
I'm not sure I'd reach the other side alive.
The other day a bike hit me.
Both of us were badly hurt.
Some good souls took him to a doc.
On me, they hurled expletives and stones.
I'm still limping.
No good souls for me.
The similarity of being alive
doesn't guarantee similar treatment to all.

I like the sexy bitch in the opposite bungalow.
She's a real teaser.
She's always mollycoddled.
I'm mostly heckled.
Don't know what she did right to be in there.
Don't know what I did wrong to be out here.
She's always accompanied by body-guards.
They scare me away.
She likes me too.
Her eyes speak of approval.
She doesn't care for our differences.
But for the guards she'd come running to me.
Man made differences not letting lovers meet.

Freedom is the price she pays for security.
Vagrancy is the price I pay for freedom.
Wonder if she would exchange her security
for my freedom.

This is my tale.
Spoken through the wagging tail.
I'm almighty when spelt backwords.
I'm your friendly street dog.

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Sunset

The drizzle. The petrichor.
The cold breeze. The mild sneeze.
The birds chirping back home.
The hue in the horizon.
The balcony. The panoramic view.
The hot tea. Cooling in no time.
Nature at its tranquil best.
My father's sunset.

The drizzle.
But no sand around for petrichor. Only cement.
Circumambient concrete stiffling the breeze.
Birds' chirps drowned in traffic din.
Horizon, defunct.
The balcony, facing another balcony.
The hot tea. Hot forever.
Nature pulverized.
Man in his mortal quest.
My Son's sunset.

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Moments that make Life

Souls at war
to fulfil their desire

A couple consummating.
The manifest from the unmanifest.

Birth - The death of reality.
The cosmic amnesia.

I - The kid.
Innocence personified.
Question mark on the brow.
No baggage of the past.
No worries of the future.
Just the present.
Mirth of the moment.
Euphoria for no reason.
Committing faux pass with the liberty
of impunity.
Stealing marbles; mom's rebuke.
First lessons in morality.

Teenage - Innocence lost.
Dilemma at the crossroads.

The first love.
The spring of life.
Her eyes looking deep into mine.
Heart stopping at her glance so divine.
Marooned in a different plane.
Glut of ecstasy, paucity of pain.
The outlook to life was never so positive.
Never thought that 'someone' could ever be so addictive.
The turning to roses of stones that life throws.
Forget friends, I then liked even my foes.

The heartbreak.
The loneliness in the crowd.
Her thoughts in loneliness.
Catapulting me to a different plane.
Forget ecstacy, glut of pain.
The roses of life becoming the thorns.
The easiest of tasks appearing like milestones.

The first paycheck.
The joy of accomplishment.
The end of dependence.
The start of interdependence.

Marriage - Life's solstice.
The solemn pledges of fidelity,
not just in action, but also in thought.
The promise of togetherness in
the life's battles, to be fought.

Seeing the unborn through her eyes.
Childish exuberance on her adult face,
I barely could surmise.

The first hug thereafter.
The eternal thanksgiving.
The bundle of joy.
The epitome of desirelessness,
on my two palms.
Two minutes of holding my baby and
forgetting my life without him.

No jealousy on seeing successful young men.
No desire on seeing nubile young women.

Deathbed - Introspection.
Everything material becoming immaterial.
Begging for a solitary chance.
Incapacitated of all but a contrite glance.

Doomsday - The death of amnesia.
The birth of reality.
The unmanifest from the manifest.

The astral wait.

Souls at war
to fulfil their desire.

Selfishness! A Paradox

I stood first in the school.
My performance reached its peak.
Success earned me many friends.
Some true. Some fake.

'X' was one of them.
Sincere but shrewd of the lot.
He befriended me for grades as
he wanted to be nothing but a 'doc'.

"Why only a Doc?", I once asked.
A doc, as I want -
to be rich. Very rich.
to be famous.
people to know me, respect me.
people to know I'm successful.
people to envy me for what I have.

'Y' joined the school
I lost my rank to him
I lost 'X' to him.
Rather, 'X' dumped me for him.

"Selfish fellow" - 'Z' sighed.
"Naah" - I emphatically denied.

He feels happy when -
others look up to him,
others respect him,
others think he is happy,
others envy him for what he has.

He dreams of being famous
But fame is - only when 'others' are.

These 'others' are an end in itself.
His means to that end are
deceit and betrayal of these very 'others'.

He mortgages his happiness to others.
He judges himself by what others think of him.
These 'others' define his end
and the means to that end.
He lives his life for 'others'.
He is anything but selfish.
He is selfless.

I am ...

To experience the experience depicted in this poem is the 
aim of my life. I wrote this poem in anticipation of 
this eternal experience. I wrote this when I was eating, 
sleeping and drinking this experience. 
I just had to write it. 

My heart stopped beating,
the lungs stopped breathing,
the breath stopped flowing. 
My body was as if dead. 
Yet I knew, I was never more alive, 
or closer to reality. 
My body was in suspended animation 
electrified by the cosmic current. 

My soul and cognition
broke free from the bodily cage,
and expanded their realms 
to the bliss of cosmic consciousness. 

Through the soil, 
I saw the roots. 
Through the trunk of trees, 
I discerned the fluids. 
Opaqueness was defunct, 
transparency ubiquitous. 

People on a distant land 
moved about my cosmic body,
even as an ant wandered on my 
now inert physical body. 

Joy, sorrow, anger, jealousy, lust, 
pleasure, pain - all merged into 
the perennial cosmic bliss. 
Cities, countries, oceans, 
earth, sun, galaxies 
were all within me. 

I was large enough to have the 
whole universe in my underbelly,
and yet small enough to be 
within an atom simultaneously. 

I heard the cosmic vibration 
"AUM" reverberating throughout 
the infinitude of the universe 
and within me all the same. 

My vision was all dimensional, all pervasive. 
My senses all perceptive. 

Past, present and future dissolved in me. 
I was beyond time. 
Here, there and in between were within me.
I was beyond space. 

There wasn't a twig that would 
break without my knowledge. 
There wasn't a mountain 
I couldn't move. 
There wasn't a creation 
I wasn't in. 
I was basking in the superether of 
omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. 

"Samadhi" made me realize that God is 
bliss, beyond the boundaries of imagination. 
seductive, beyond the thought of comparison. 
I was now one with God. 
Rather, I was God. 
I am God. 

As I revoked my consciousness 
to the strangulating boundaries of physical cage, 
my breath started flowing, 
my lungs started breathing and 
my heart started beating. 
The ant was still foraging 
on my physical periphery. 

Out on a ramble 
I saw fellow human beings,
blissfully unaware of their real self. 
Their parochial view of self made  
them feel they're their profession,
anything and everything but God. 

I saluted the master magician, 
for having built "The Matrix" called earth. 
Hypnotized us all in the veil of delusion,
making us believe that the unreal is the real,
While the real is elusive and beyond the limits 
of comprehension of the dormant mind.

The Purity in Loneliness

The dew hadn’t evaporated yet. 
My hands fiddled with the faucet. 
There I was in the loo, 
seated on the closet. 

With the cleansing of bowels, 
myriad thoughts visited my mind. 
In the loneliness of the loo, 
my real face started to unwind. 

I pushed from atop a building, 
a neighbour who I hated. 
I kicked and punched a colleague 
for he, and not I, was promoted. 
I unleashed my animal instincts 
on a girl, for whom I lusted. 
All this of course in my thoughts, 
while my kingdom in virtual reality lasted. 

As I wrapped myself in clothing, 
to conform to the worldly decency, 
I also draped myself in the 
invisible facade of hypocrisy. 

Sometime during the day, I met all the three. 
Customary pleasantries were exchanged with me. 
Thank God! They didn’t know, 
what menial emotions they stirred in me. 

Most people would cringe with revulsion 
at the mere mention of the word "closet". 
But they forget that this is one seat
that brings out a man's most intriguing facet. 

The purity of his thoughts in loneliness 
is the real measure of a man's true character. 
For without a good thought behind a good deed, 
he merely remains a good, but hollow actor.

The Homecoming

As I laid on my bed,
scenes of my life pirouetted through my mind.
Scenes of times, happy and sad;
of deeds, good and bad.
My friends and kins were all around;
their faces, uncomfortably grim.
I was breathing the last few breaths
on my deathbed.

As death stared in my face,
I thought of times when I had sinned,
and wondered, if it had to end like this,
were the misdeeds even worth it?
A passing thought came across.
If all could see death up close,
they'd all be better people
as I thought I'd now be, 

if I got another chance.

But that was not to be
as an excruciating pain rose up my spine.
It rose and rose, until one moment
when it all disappeared and
it felt like there never was any.

I opened my eyes in jubilation.
Told my wailing kins and consoling friends,
"Cheer up as I'm back",
but strangely, they wouldn't listen.
I looked further and found myself lying on the bed.
I now realized, why wouldn't they listen.
Another passing thought came across.
The "I" had changed its perspective now.
The "I" that was the body, "The Physical",
was now the soul, "The Astral".

I didn't know what to feel.
Rejoice? For my newfound consciousness
and that I was now the liberated one?
Or despair? For I had lost all my dear ones
and that now I was alone.
I beseeched God to help and
"The Eternal White Light" pulled me to the source.
I then realized I was not alone
as I told Him, 

"I'm coming. I'm coming Home."

Sour Grapes - A Sequel to a Fable

Once upon a time
in a jungle, there was a fox.
He was the leader of the skulk
would perform different feat when his friends would coax.

A new challenge was to reach a high bunch of grapes
to raise his own bar.
But having failed to reach them -
he declared - "The grapes are sour" .

Please stay back - don't leave just yet my friend
There's a twist in the tale and this is not just the end.

The vixens yelped that he had failed.
The poor fox despaired as he felt being nailed.

The fox decided to earn his reputation
to get back the respect after the plump.
So when his friends rested in the lair
he would practise high jump.

One day as the skulk watched in awe
He jumped and deftly grabbed the grapes.
He was now relieved to have
his critics look like apes.

But to his dismay he found
that the grapes were indeed sour.
He was now hopelessly bound
as - his smiling visage - was the need of the hour.

Having performed the improbable feat,
he had to pretend and eat
the sour grapes with relish,
an effort he could hardly cherish.

Having reached the top,
what others thought was "an enviable achievement",
he found - it was a bed of thorns
as he remorsed at his own predicament.

The Realization

I took the obscure bylane
to reach the nondescript building.
Met my colleagues and friends,
who were already there waiting.

Together we all waited
for the kids to come out.
About a dozen of them came,
with a hope that would never fade out.

God hadn't been too kind to them,
they were bequeathed with misfortune.
They lived in an orphanage,
a life that played to a discordant tune.

Today was a special day for them.
On schedule was "once in a blue moon" shopping.
They all reacted differently in anticipation,
some did it by tickling and some by giggling.

We took them all to a shop
to the discomfort of many shoppers.
But the kids simply basked in the moment
with a shine on their face misfit for paupers.

Unlike other kids, these were a well-behaved lot.
They wouldn't even touch, the things they were to shop.
For a long time, I couldn't hear their voices.
Perhaps they never thought, life would give them any choices.

I wondered why two kids were very quiet.
What I found made my heart go numb.
As if being orphan was not enough,
those kids were also deaf and dumb.

We finally dropped them home.
Their hands full with stuffs they had taken.
They waved us a mirthful good-bye
as we left with a soul that was stirred and shaken.

Not long thereafter did I realize
that this was the best day of my life.
I had done something for someone,
who couldn't give back a tangible return.

I realized what joy is there in giving,
helping these kids fight against their odds.
And since kids are closer to Him;
this was a subtle way to realize the Gods.

I realized how lucky I am,
to have parents for all the love I need.
Oh Lord! I won't whine for not having shoes,
for I saw someone without feet.

The Silence That Spake

The breeze was still, 
the silence was loud, 
there I was with my love 
as our hearts spoke aloud. 

The birds chirped to their nests, 
the sun was about to drown, 
and there we were, unaware, 
in the world of our own. 

We sat on a dusty bench.
My hand caressing my girl, 
she was enclosed in my arms 
like a string through a pearl. 

As the sun kissed the earth, 
I gave her a peck. 
She shuddered like a ship 
struck with lightening on her deck. 

She complained, "You're so silent when alone with me, 
with others you're so loquacious." 
I quipped, "With you I'm on a different plane, 
where silence, not speech, is precious." 

Quietly, we gazed into the darkness,
till our eyes began to ache. 
We didn't need the word of mouth,
for it was the silence that spake.