Friday, November 27, 2015

Paint it Black

An ember in the darkness wakes me up every day and just before I open my eyes it disappears, but in that split-second of light I see everything- from old lovers to old streets, from the distant past when I was a ball of blood to the wrinkled absurd future we all hold- the slow ones, the safe ones , and it seems like an eternity and I cannot escape it, it goes on for a while. Time consumes me.
I painted my clock-face black a long time ago. It still makes that tick tock sound beneath the veil of paint reminding me that time wouldn't stand still for anyone, and the mornings are not gonna get better- in time alarm clocks would replace a lover's gentle voice and...
I should just leave it there, as I know we will get by, like every other people- happy and sad, a bit of both until time consumes itself and everything is quiet and dark- like that dreamless sleep, you know.

For the Holiday that didn't happen

A couple of years ago, all I could think about around this time was leaving the mechanical solitude of the campus I was living in, you know, so that I could come back and wade through a sea of people who were much crazier than me.
My hometown, full of people and flies.
Often in life you are in the midst of things and you don't notice it, like you know, how we don't see the spiral Milky Way galaxy because we live on it and only an alien from another galaxy could see us in all our entirety. I believe in simple words- no matter how many mirrors you put in front of you, you can never be your best judge and that's why it's important to ask the ones you love and the ones who give a shit- to tell you what the hell they like about you and not the other way round- because for God's sake ( or I should say Durga's sake) enough Asurs have born out of the vocation of ill feelings.
Be good to each other, I will tell my devotees, if I were a prophet. Be good to each other, because its Durga Pujo and god doesn't exist.

Goodbye Calcutta,
see you in two weeks.

Subho Bijaya, Salt Lake

For the past one hour I am walking the familiar streets of Salt Lake all alone, watching merry people in Pandals, selfie Huddlers, sweaty cops and some unfamiliar faces who inhabit this town but who never come out of their homes, little community plays that do not forget the Bengali tradition. The streets look unfamiliar today, filled with people and more people.
Tomorrow when I will walk these streets again, with the music of Autumn plugged in my ear- all of this would have returned to its deserted self. There will be no one but the dogs to give me company - nothing but dogs and pretty houses and static cars. Till next year.
Subho Bijoya.

Love in Damascus

As I look outside my window and see aeroplanes sparkling by at this hour( its a beautiful sight believe me, all those distant airliners from faraway lands setting foot in my city cruising past my window), I feel a bit terrible about falling asleep. Its late and I know that, I could just stay awake for a while like old times and count all those planes- reading in between, but I am sleepy and tomorrow is a working day. I feel terrible that something beautiful always has to end, like me lying in my bed and watching these aeroplanes after an industrious day. I see flames racing towards me , somebody dropped a bomb somewhere and I will die soon, me and my entire family and everyone I ever knew, we are all gonna die, but the nuclear flames disappear and then the whole earth shakes , I see the buildings go one by one and then there's me and even that stops, there are no planes in this sky, no dreams, no voices, only the cries and shrieks of terror followed by a silence that sounds like death. I want to fall asleep now and I want to wake up tomorrow, I want to wake up tomorrow hoping I will be alive, and someone else will die somewhere in another place, another country because that's how the world works- some live on, some die. One moment you are here and then you are gone, dead and cold, your death not your own making but someone else's and your dreams they die with you too, but what if I could change the world?
What if I could teach people not to hate, to endure, to suffer, to fight back with words and reason... what if...
"How many deaths will it take to
know that too many people
have died?"
There are no aeroplanes in the sky tonight, perhaps they forgot all about my window, perhaps i am asleep just like everyone else, perhaps they are all dead in Syria- a pretty girl whom I will never know, a best friend with whom I never shared a smoke.

Numb your senses

There's violence in dark
There's violence in the light
There's violence in sound
There's violence in sight.
Numb your senses,

Intolerance, India.

Religion itself is an outdated concept that needs to be abolished if we are to progress. I know I am intolerant when it comes to that, but who cares what i think. It certainly isn't tolerant when all Research Institutes where progress ,free thought and innovation come from gets fund cuts of the order of 70%.
Most patriotic Indians (mired in mediocrity) whose general aim is to better than their neighbors are happy being better than a Saudi Arabia or a Pakistan, and god, if it exists, help them.
You know what happens with less education?
A brain that follows orders, ask less questions, accepts wrongdoings, hates other pretty easily. Half-education is worse.
( If you think your leaders want anything other than that, then god help you, too. Because one day you may die like a dog in the street, unjust, unkind and it will not be because of your wrongdoing, because someone's brain followed orders without thinking. Your multiplexes and iPhone won't save you. Your swachh country won't save you.)
Your apathy creates terrorists, your subtle antipathy endorses it. And that is intolerance, but I am pretty sure you won't get me. If you do, teach that child, teach him to love despite the wrongdoings that have been meted out to you, despite your suffering and countless deaths of your loved ones at the hands of wrongdoers. Teach the children , be a good example, that's when they go wrong, when they are young.
Accept that intolerance is there, but don't be a hypocrite, don't run away, and its not worth being better than a Saudi Arabia, its worth being better than a Finland or an Iceland. 

Thank you.

Little Prince

On tranquil mornings like this when I lie on my bed and recover from the vivid shock of a nightmare, I hear my dog's bark and its mollifying. Although it reminds me of all the beautiful things that have gone by, and all the loss that I am about to endure; but familiarity begets hope and I am not afraid to love; as the author says- "Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence."

Good Morning.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

From one Child to another

When I was very young, I
was sent away to a school
near the hills - Welham School,
Dehra Dun. A very good school, said Ma.
I did not understand why my mother or my father
would send me away- I was a kind boy,
but then what do children know about
what adults think?

Do you know what adults

I cried a lot that day, when daddy left me there,
it was long ago, a summer’s day-
and I cried and cried and only cried, and whoosh
 I fell asleep. I don’t remember dreaming that
night; you forget your childhood dreams
when you are old. There were others, you know,
who would cry for months through the night-
we boys would first ask them to shut up and it
won’t work so we would make fun of them, each
one of them, of their tears and of their parents.
We would tell jokes and make merry, and we will
always stick by- us together, us against the world.
All those years- between geometry and grammar, between
stories from the Bible and false prayers we
learned to smile, we learned to smile and to
make fun.

And with each passing day we healed-
and healed. Home is everywhere. Home is
in this valley.

I am an adult now, and sometimes when
I visit Dehra I always pass by my old
school whose vistas haven’t changed
much. In the silent valley it stays hidden
safe from the touch of time, safe with
memories and dreams of a thousand children-
safe and merry, merry and safe. Do the
children still wet their beds?

Do they often

I am an adult now and I do not know
what adults think, but when the day
breaks and I am back in the big city;
in the big city where my child sleeps
in his little home safe from tears,

I always make merry and I always
make fun.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


It was 2007, in the first year of my college, I met him. He was a year senior, and was always in the midst of things (mainly football) - the one you could call the popular kind, but I remember him watching me on that day, the very first day as if he was waiting for me.

My first year, when I arrived in the city, I was a bit lost- I was told by everyone back in my little country home- not to trust anyone in the city, especially the ones who spoke good English. So I was rather a reticent kid of eighteen who didn’t speak much and only observed- ‘I had that innocent look’ as one girlfriend once pointed out. I don’t know what it was but after a month or so when I used to sit in the portico with my classmates, he once came over and started talking with me- I kept in mind what my folks back home said- ‘no politics’ because that's what seniors did and so I was a bit disappointed when he started asking me- if I was into any sports. Soon he introduced me to his bunch of footballer friends and I really started enjoying my college life. He always maintained a certain distance with people, even with his footballer buddies and that was really evident. It was through him that I met a lot of girls too and being confused initially - I was sure that he wasn’t sleeping with anybody- he was distant and never cared and the girls liked that, well most of them- the mysterious guy and all that shit. Naturally they confided in me and I was falling in and out of love every other day- but I was still shy to make any move on anyone. Among them I really liked one of the girls, who would later become someone else's girlfriend but that's another story.

He introduced me to Jack Kerouac, Bengali folklore, the untold history of Mughals and what not, and he would sometimes stay back at my PG and we would listen to The Doors and everything would be fine. I remember how great a footballer he was and through all my time I had seen him play, he was never tackled by any of the opponents- he was that good, and I also felt that he underplayed himself- as if he knew how good he was so he didn’t want to ruin the competition, he didn't want the others resign to their fate.

He continued his post-graduation and while doing that I invited him over to my country home up in the North of Bengal- Silmora. He had never invited me to his place in all those years of living in the city and I always figured it had something to do with domestic strife at his place, but then he never talked much about himself and I really didn’t know who he had at his home. He always had something interesting to say without backing it up with evidence or narrating the source- and that's what I think was the most peculiar of his characters and the most unnerving one, it got me worked up. I will get there. You will see what I mean.

My college time girlfriend had a problem with him- she once accused me of having sexual relations with him- all in good humor.
When I invited him over to North Bengal, he gave me a look that was mixed both in emotions and a sort of existential nothingness- somewhere in between- which bothered me a lot, I don't know why, like he was hoping this day would come. To be honest in college I was the only person he spent time with, he would tell me all these strange stories about old Bengal and it’s dacoits and the murders of family members because of greed- he seemed to know so much. He told me a lot about Silmora- where I came from (because obviously I had told him everything about me) and I asked him where he had read all of that and he named some obscure Bengali book that I could never find.

I don't remember much from his visit though, because nothing happened, he became much more withdrawn, he would wake up early in the morning and disappear in the village and you could find him with a book on the other side of the jheel that was by our house. My parents liked him because of his habit of waking up early in the morning and he was much more verbose than usual with them, as if he hypnotized them in liking him. 
It was one of these days while returning to our home, I looked at the house from the other side of the jheel, it was almost sundown and Silmora is the most beautiful at sundown when the silhouettes are long. He suddenly looked at me and told me that- 'There's a man trapped under your house, he needs to be free.' I didn't say anything because it was pointless and I would only be answered back with silence. I wondered if he had read it in some book- or if he was imagining up a story. Or may be both.   

After I left college I lost in touch with him, and I heard he dropped out and disappeared somewhere. I haven't thought about him much since then and it was a bit of a shock for me because he never left any trace- to be honest he was the one who ditched me, and I was always egoistic enough not to ask around about him- if I didn’t knew, nobody knew, not even the fucking authorities. So many years in the city and I didn’t even know where he lived. It’s funny how much a man could not tell you if he doesn’t want to tell you.

Five years have gone by since then and my parents have shifted to the city, our old country home remains locked in a mist of weed and country snakes, and a few days ago I visited it to just to do the yearly maintenance and cleaning. It was then, I don't know why I suddenly remembered what he had said to me years ago, about a man buried beneath our house. In that empty house it was an eerie thought. I couldn't sleep that night and I had a "le cauchemar" which is a classy nightmare and so I woke up all alone in the night  and thought about him and our time in college. I felt the dark moonllit plains of Silmora folding up on me and it was then I realized how I had actually once wanted to touch him but couldn't.

It was long ago and we were in my PG and he had probably read me out a Walt Whitman poem and I just wanted to touch his hand when he looked away, but I had only felt air - cold air.       

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hum Apke Hain Kaun?

The brouhaha surrounding Bajrangi Bhaijaan made me watch snippets from an old classic (probably the first Salman Khan movie I watched and that too in a theater) - Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
I remember watching it in a hall called 'Mitra'- I guess with my entire family and being amused by the flashy lights that jarred my little eyes every time a song sequence happened.
I will always remember the lines 'Didi Tera Devar Diwana' without understanding what it means as of now. Madhuri Dixit who sat on a Billiards Table romancing Salman Khan (Bhaijaan) in one song sequence hardly impressed me back then- it was 20 years ago and I was too bloody young to understand why MF Hussain would make her his muse. Although, no offence to artist Bhaijaan I fondly remember the fluffy white thing that danced with Madhuri and umpired in a cricket match, yes a little white spitz, just like our very own kuttush.
And in a split moment of curiosity I did a Google search, 'what happened to the dog in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun'? And really you must love the internet.
In Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), the role of "Tuffy" was played by Redo, a 6-year-old Indian Spitz belonging to the Assistant Director Madhukar Sawle. The Spitz had a vital role in the movie. Actress Madhuri Dixit later adopted the dog, which died in 2000 at age twelve....
Now that I am all grown up, I do love Madhuri Dixit. I kinda have this thing for women who love dogs.

Don't do drugs?

Last night/this morning I read about Jeet Thayil and his heroin addiction. I kept listening to the jazz of Thayil/Sridhar through the night. Had horrible dreams on the account of sleeping through the day, but kept on sleeping because I loved those scarring mini movies inside my head. It was 2.30 in the afternoon and I had to wake up coz the dreams were getting intolerable. As I sat on the sofa reading the headlines and promising never to torture my mind like that again, ma comes over and smiles and says - "Ami shob bujhi," (I understand everything) and so I had to explain her for the next few minutes how I am not into drugs and will never do drugs.

Happy Friendship Day

Looking back at my schooldays I must wonder why I didn't connect with most people around me- is it because I did not have a slam book or watched enough Bollywood? I never asked my parents to buy me a slam book, the economics were different back in those days- plus i wasn't much of the asking kind- it appeared a sort of luxury to the child in me and I guess it has done me wonders in finding friends for life.
I am glad I never watched WWE/WWF back in school, and instead read books. Most cool kids graduated into watching the EPL/IPL the pop- trend of our generation, and like a fool I still remain loyal to my books- friends for life? Perhaps.
To all the beautiful and real people in my life- Happy Friendship Day. 

Because the world is round it turns me on

 The Beatles once said,
‘Because the world is round
It turns me on. ‘

I wonder if life is strewn with
callus orange lotus that soothe
God’s eye, I don’t care about gods plan
-orange fucking lotus turns me on. 

A butterfly swivelling through mid-air,
Whose colours are a mystery, who suckles
my nectar, who suckles on and on
- butterflies, they turn me on.

I am made of water, I do not flow, I am still
water, yet I am not ice and I am not snow,
I am pure- find me in your
protoplasm, hang me dry and I will still breath life-
More life than your police state with population charts-
- water and words, they turn me on.

Busker was a big boy and he knew a butterfly,
who ate from his lotus garden-orange fucking lotus:
by the side of a great lake- whose scenery exaggerated
in the moonlight and who wouldn’t come near that living
beauty? Come, oh strangers with cameras! Water can wash
words but it exaggerates beauty, and who is beautiful-
the flower, the water or the butterfly?

Beauty turns me on. One day Busker
woke up and he had lost his voice: the sun
was banned, and with it everything died,
the soul died he said- there was no flower,
no water and no butterfly. And to those who
banned the sun he asked them- he asked
 time and again
‘Does death turn you on?’

He must have heard nothing, for the
dead do not speak to the living in their
language and perhaps there is no poem
without loss. 

Monday, June 29, 2015


I am sad in the sunlight
I am sad in the rain 
I am sad and insignificant 
Like a sand grain.

And sometimes, sometimes 

When I invade your mind, 
You are happy, happy, 
Happy and blind. 

Synedoche life

I have often wondered about all the stories that I have observed in the virtual world- the stories observed through the casual observation of one's news feed. The story of the budding writer, the tagging poet, the witty one line king, the selfie queen, the hash tag princess, the politically snobbish economist, the dreamy literature girl, a salman loving body builder, lonely football fanatics, make up artists , happy go luckies, intellectuals, post post modern playwrights, undergraduate day politicians, eight time activists, reborn intellectuals, funny lads, goddamn photographers, just people, people, etc. etc. a diverse range of people everyone vocal in their own right -expressing, reexpressing arguing whose world this is, who belongs here, who stabs, and prints and generates wonder and attention, who wins, who does not, who makes more friends in a chair, without moving, who engages who reengages, who represents culture, who reinvents the status quo, who is a feminist who is not- who- me- you- I-
All the paraphernalia of information and wisdom, emotions, morality, that I have casually obeserved hardly touches me at all- these days I forget casually what words mean, I always do; what I see here always gets washed in another flurry of reinvented identities and representatons.
I think I know now, our virtual lives can never be a synedoche of our lives, our virtual lives can just be a dishonest memoir of our true lives, our true lives will always hide in the silent honesty of nights and the secrecy of our dreams.

The psychology of Lovers

Cat, you are beautiful and I love you, but you don't care.
Dog, I love you and you love me.
Dog, would you be my
-The psychology of lovers

Honduras e Hahakar?

Recently, I saw this Twitter hashtag 'Modi in Mongolia' which reminded me of Lalmohan Ganguly (-a famous character, for all of you who have not read Satyajit Ray), and his apparently 'lomhorshok' novels that could be judged by its catchy alliterating names.
Nothing can ever surpass the sheer hilarity of the name 'Honululu te Hahakar', and I have often wondered what could the novel be about. (I do not remember Feluda and co. discussing its material, so as a geology student, lately I have been inclined to wonder if it were about some apocalyptic volcanic activity of the Hawaiian islands.)
Modi in Mongolia could be about an espionage agent send to snub off any future Mongol invasions that may threaten the Hindurashtra.
P.S. Honululu would be Honduras. Are there volcanoes too?

Summer Winter whining

In Summerlands, before the invention of air-conditioning earthly life indeed were pretty bearable with just cool water and Glucon-D, and a shade of a tree for instance. Some of you are too young, urban or posh to know a time like that. Also, before the invention of Facebook, earthly-life (me?) wasn’t smart enough to know that most people always whined over the same old things-summer, winter, winter summer, relationships.
One day life with all its ‘enlightenedness’ decided to whine itself, in retrospect it did sound smart, but you know life; with all its stupidities and verbosity it always overprints any of its witty traits. It kind of sounded like this-
“You greenhouse gas pumping puny things, in Earth I always try to rise, with you doing everything to make that not happen. When would you ever learn that the Universe is a fucking cold and dead place, it’s awfully huge and without any sign of my other siblings as you know, so least you sissies can do is appreciate me in silence and bear the seasonal warmth of your average sized- friendly-neighborhood star, that technically invigorates you all. If not, go live in Mars. (Or go off Facebook, please?)”

Gopalpur on the Sea

The hotel where we have checked in has a little staircase that leads straight to the beach. An old man who writes stories owns this place, he saw us last night while we were up on the roof singin and dancin merry songs with the waves. He was quiet and just sat on his chair. He must have seen many before like us- vain youths, aloof in our escape. Beside the hotel there's a ruin that once stood tall and wide and perhaps had arched gateways whose skeletal remains still stand inviting the best of the romantics.
Romance is mostly adorned with reality that we choose to ignore, you know, and this morning when I took my camera out to take some snapshots of the ruins, I found out quite a few people in there, answering nature's bigger calls- some were singing along with the waves, some were dancing (possibly), a singing-dancing latrine in the shore of the world- romantic in its own light,

Dreams one morning

It's kind of funny how dreams make a mockery of my insecurities, how it always cooks up scenes of all the unlikely people I have ever lost, all the things that I am about to lose. Sometimes I feel, reality is much better than these images of falsified nostalgia that are set in a surreal landscape filled with the omen of loss and retribution. She was in there, reading her book or chatting up with a friend, she was in my dream sitting on the railway tracks. I wonder if she has ever done that in real life- sat on a railway track to giggle a bit, and so I wondered when was the last time we sat and talked- that's what these dreams do, they make you remember things best forgotten and so it happens for a while, the pain and nostalgia bit and then it's all over in flurry of reality that is so very unforgiving to anyone who dares to dream on.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

No pain, no gain

My mother often said, that if
there in no pain, there is no gain.
Gain, what gain? I would ask. She would
smile and let me grow old, and then
one day when she would forever
vanish into the world of mirrors
I would wonder if that was pain.

Did your mother vanish too, in
the world of mirrors where words
are inverted and meanings are
seven fold,

did you love and lose?

I have often picked up a stone
and thrown it into the mirror
not to find lost people but to look
through the delicate cracks it made-
I would keep on pelting stones till it
would  break into smithereens- the
smallish pieces always made poetry.

I have walked on those pieces sometimes,
 to let my feet bleed the colors of
my insides, such soft patterns it
would make under the summer
moon. My pain would softly speak to
me and make me its friend, and
when the moon would set and the
crows shall sing an arbitrary
tremolo- I will carry that pain
as if it were a beauty, and I will carry it
through my apartment and into the
highways where love gets run over
and people get lost.  


The ennui of home takes me far away
To a land where things swell and sway
I can’t name that land, I can’t say
These images sweeten in a nameless way.

But if you ever could name it right
Sure, it would be my divine delight
For names have these strangest ways
To remind us what we loved on long lost days.

Saturday, April 11, 2015



I heard a country music
in the showers of yesterday
where the smell of coconut trees
weaved with the white of clouds.

This country where I had lived,
this country
of wet muds, of rivers and riverines,
whose boats are long dead floras and who must
forget what it owes, to this land and to the
sea, to rivers that flow to thee.

The rains had wet me, when I was young
and I had buried a coin beneath that mud-
when the floods came another year
it took my mud home with a sear, but if

I am not mistaken today,
you can still find the bushes of yesterday,
the coconut trees
still stand right there,
like human beings
that grow in fear. 

Evenings with a Pen

My love for yesterday’s April thunder,
why must you rest asunder?
My love for tomorrow’s  golden summer
only begins when the skies grow dimmer!
My love for every season it seems
is a condition that my weak heart grieves.

..and seasons change and seasons grow
this love is an old friend,

this love is a foe.


I let in the air sometimes and I let in the light most of the time. When nobody is watching I pat my own head gently. I have always loved dogs and sometimes I adore myself like that, I pat my own head. Perhaps that’s why I am stuck here, perhaps it wasn’t wise to pat my head in a world no body pats their own head. It will rain today, I know this gloom. The smell of mangroves blotting the air in my room, so I am patting my head again. I have kept the window open, let the air in Sinok; that’s how everyone calls me-Sinok like Sindbad.
 There’s a bald patch in my head, the constant patting has made its own sculpture. I think it makes me a bit of a brain-boy: after all I remember when I was little they used to hit my head hard just to make me gulp the value of pi. The value of Pi is three. I don’t believe in decimal places. Speaking of 3, there are two windows in my room and one door. Pi never leaves me alone. Three strands of hair falls out of my scalp every time I pat myself on the head. The other day Mr. Desun arrived with my sketchbook and asked me what I had intended to draw as my last sketch. What could I have told him? It was an experiment to check the girth of lead pencils?

Mr. Desun has a bad habit of snooping around. I don’t know why they make me sketch when I have told them repeatedly it’s not my thing. These uncouth people in aprons- but I kinda like Mr. Desun, at least he lets me write. They all claim to be helping me- I don’t know what’s wrong with patting my head; if I like myself I am going to pat myself in the head.

“What are these lines Mr. Sinok? Why would you draw them like these?”

“I don’t know”

“Well at least you could sketch something? What about those leaves that you see from your window?

“They are too real.”

“What do you mean they are too real?”

“I don’t see the point of sketching something that is real. It already exists there. Why would people look at my painting since it’s already there?”

“ Well, maybe you could paint them differently?”

“But Mr. Desun, I painted them differently.”

“What do you mean?”

“These are leaves from the Planet Moira. They are packets of symmetrical lines, they appear as undulating waves since they flow in a liquid atmosphere of an unknown gas called mero”

“Now where is this planet Moira, Mr. Sinok?”

“I don’t know, it’s not real.”

“I see. I am impressed I must say. So that’s what you mean.
  Let’s look over the crossword shall we?”

“Desun, one more thing…”


“I still think the value of Pi, is three.”

“We have been over that, Mr.Sinok, haven’t we?”

“But you must listen to me this time, you asked me why I thought so when the whole world was saying otherwise. I think I have found a satisfactory reason for my aberration.”

“Carry on, I am listening. I must say you haven’t patted your head a single time while we were talking.”

“That’s nice of you to mention Sir. It’s just that I know and we both know I don’t belong here. Yes, I have understood that a man is supposed to lose their loved ones by death and then he must grieve. Once the grieving is done he must get over. But as you see, I have always ignored the decimal places, because I think I always took existence as a whole. By rejecting the decimal places I have rejected the inevitability of death from the whole of life. That’s what struck me doctor.”

“That’s one of the most interesting things I have heard in recent times. How is your writing going? You know we won’t look into your notebook. So you are allowed to write absolutely anything that you want to.”

“So you think I am ready to get out of this place?”

“In time. Of course, Sinok.”

It’s been a while I have been here in this place. My room is okay. Lots of stuff to read. A pen to write. Mr. Desun is my supervisor. When I was put in this place, I hadn’t eaten well in days. I had kept patting my head grieving death- death the judge of life. I tried eating a chocolate one day and felt really sick. I had started patting my own head with my right hand and they said I made dog noises, and sometimes I would crawl about my whole apartment. I didn’t receive my calls or checked my mails and my phone had been off for a few days. It was those stupid neighbors who rat me out. Luria and Gage, the nice young fancy couple called up those apron guys and that’s how it all started- my life in the confinements of this villa. I don’t think this villa is for mad people, though in all essence I am still the professor Sinok with a high intellect- a controversial academic whose argument on the rejection of the decimal places had brought forth a new scientific revolution. I wonder what the magazines wrote about me when they heard I was put in here. I wonder how all my rivals and critics had reacted. I have stopped worrying now. I have resigned everything to my fate- very unlikely of me and it’s been okay here for a while.

I am telling you all this so that you don’t think I am mad. I am the guy whom atheists love, who refused to accept the standards the world set. I am the person who believes in the whole- in the absolute, with no vacillations. I am different, I am so different that I am the only person who grieves the death of his servant- I am a loyal soldier. Brucie my dog, my lovely big dog, left me alone here, and what do I do?

I weep and grieve like he would have done, if it had been
me. Am I mad, doctor? 

My Boys.

This boy I was tripping with yesterday was dreamy enough for me. I decided to meet him once again. I knew something irrational would come out of it- something to rekindle my interest in men-folk. 

I knew I was in for a surprise or a disappointment, but sometimes disappoints are surprises too. This is where this story begins -in surprises and in a heart who­se melancholy beats constantly outrun its slow paced and walled life. My story begins on a Monday morning when I should have taken that bus to office, but instead I chose to stay back at home with my pen and my paper. I chose to chew on thoughts and that’s when the bell rang. The boy had arrived on time- he carried with him a paper notebook just like I had instructed. I asked him to read out everything he had written in that notebook since yesterday. He looked a bit perplexed and then opened and started reading it. He minced on as if he was reading from memory and not from the book. I wondered if he had written at all or if he was indeed reciting from memory. I don’t know what he was saying, I paid no attention. I was already craving for him, him as a whole, and not those eyes that were not like eyes. I don’t know what’s with me and all these men who read, I always want them. I want them to read on, I want to play with them, I want them inside me and outside me, and this was one another little boy- who was reading on and on and on. His story was one of the old kings, sphinx, revenge and I don’t remember. It’s always the usual.  

A lot of time must have passed between us when his voice grey heavy and caught my attention. His eyes that were like eyes were glowing and my head felt light. I don’t know what came over to me then. I fell asleep and I must have slept for a long time. My dreams were only about him, it was as always pretty frustrating- I was hoping he would kiss me, fondle my breasts, ravage me, but all these men who read, were hardly such brutes. They were predictably nice. When was the last time I had a brute?

I must have dreamt for a while, and then I woke up. I found myself in my bed, it was well made. I looked around and the boy was nowhere to be seen. I found a notebook by my side, and there was my pen, cap open, my bed sheets stained in the Prussian blue. I would have to summon him again tomorrow, he my unfinished man, they all meet me and then they vanish away, they don’t exist in flesh- they don’t make love to me, they only make me wake up for a while and then they bore me to sleep- my men are mostly one page long, faceless, and with a reading habit.
And I am their mother. 

For Little Jyoti.

Little Jyoti, I hear you are sad, I hear
you are very sad. Sometimes life is such,
and our sadness is like this stain in the
shirt we can't get off- and we feel like
shouting at the top of our voices and we
wonder why life is so sad and unfair- and sometimes
it's just how we feel because we know we can
feel and then one day when all of this sadness 
goes away through the long days of a happy struggle 
and we are 'okay' in happiness, even then we 
always find a little sadness. May be on such days
when you are walking by the streets and you are 
a little sad, smile- think of the days 
when you were really sad and may be life
will fall in places where it's easy to laugh.

Look at those ugly faces around you- take your 
tongue out of your mouth and face the mirror,
you will see how funny and beautiful you are. 
It would be your own happy moment and no one would
know; you will be happy again. You and the 
mirror, and no one would see you, although 
I would secretly wish to, always.  

Little jyoti, you must write on such days when
you are sad, and know that I carry your song
in my heart, your sadness too. Write even when
there's nothing to write, and one more thing
little Jyoti - you must love, like you always
have. Won't you?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Poetry for the insomniacs

Elope with me into that dying gaze
of the sunset, elope with me where the Azure
is vermilion- whose color like Van Gogh’s
palette- whose words like Tolstoy echo over
the brims of another continent.
The night sky has

This night the sky has reddened and my favorite
book lie face-down on the table, waiting for its reader
to blow the trumpet- to turn the pages over, to mark
the words he won’t fathom, to mark the lines he would
forget. I am not awake, I am dreaming
that I am awake like the dead dream of living
and the world is a big bad maze.

Elope with me through the big bad mazes, let’s
make love- let’s purify our veins with the
remembrance of yesterday-when we were too
young to hold hands and not feel love, but love?

My heart beats now, my words are sallow,
the sky has reddened and it shall rain.
Would you love me

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Song from my Childhood.

The dawn greets me with the song of
the sparrows. When I look out of the
window I see three of them -
sparrows dancing on the sill, singing
 all the while, singing as if no one’s
listening, as if the world were a
singing festival, singing to their last
breath, singing as if this dawn
were the last song of the
dying bird, as if, as if I were
the last witness to the
songs of a forgotten city-

Calcutta (and its

Monday, March 23, 2015

Afternoons before today.

Here is the world august and round
Here is my heart free but bound
If what I hear is not a sound.

If what I hear is what I see
As the lumber wades through the sea
The silence counts from one to three
The silence stays from one to three.

Strange life, whose lie we live
Voluptuous hearts which never grieve
Are fond of me, and I of them.

If eyes were ears and ears were eyes;
If heart was mind and mind was heart
Then who would you love?

And who would love you

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Sihouettes

The silhouettes  come in my head
in various shapes then gather dust
and stones and become what they
are destined to become-

This is the shape and size of every
stanza that I write-five lines
by seven-eight words that sometimes
deviate away from the standard that
I set in the rhythm of poetry, and poetry.

Is it hard to understand?
Poets are insidious and fastidious-
 oh you know, how cryptic they must be,
like hiccups they produce words and beauty,
but if you hear another story
believe in that too- for in this world
there is no certainty- not in poetry,
not in love, not in what you think you
want to believe.  No certainty, never in
love. There are versions. And in them there
are versions too. 

There is no certainty in the home, so get out
straight, run through your terse head
and plunge deep into your heart so you may believe
in life there is more, so you may believe it doesn’t begin
in the womb or end with the funeral pyre-
when you trust the certainty of words, 
when you and I, and
I trust- the CERTAINTY of words.
Not you? 

If you ask me, if you do ask me-
ask me if I believe, if I believe in what I write-
what do you expect I would say?

You must hope for a silent nod when you
 hear the cruel

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Call me Ishmael.

The waves in their foamy textures
Could help us none.
The sea was empty, empty of grass,
Still life, how still, like my parent’s

Where are the gulls tonight?
Birds don’t fly at night.
Where are the gulls today, it’s strange
They haven’t arrived yet.

The sea is a charmer, the boy is seven,
The boy is me. I am the boy. Look, look here’s-
My little harpoon and my love-fish.
I smell like fish. I am sharks and
I am whales, I am waves and I am winds.
I am seagulls and I am the sea, yes, I am ships that float on

‘Call me Ishmael.’
Call me by my name. I am the little hunter of
Godthab bay.

The sea is empty. The whales are dead. Where do think
I can get a little bread? 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Moonshadow, a song.

Chevron hills,
saffron junipers,
scattered across twilight,
looking like nothing,
beside lost paths,
that lead somewhere strange,
inside heads.

I was here,
I was there.
You were here before,  
do you hear?

The dust and the oldest trees,
the junipers and the little-little bees,
the hills and the scree,
all made of matter-

never belonged to us,
never ever?

                  And who were we,
                          stoning the stones,
                                        making fire,
                                               making ire.

And this was where,
this was when,

the sphinx had laughed,
the sphincter sang,
in gossamer thoughts,
of gods and gargoyles,
and we had poked,
and we had punned,
in our heads,
in that loveshadow,
beneath the pines,
in that moonshadow
of our hearts,
in that moonshadow
in our heads,
where we dwell,

you and I.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Its always me

For things that don't seem to be
You can find them in a place called me.
Its always safe, its always sound
What can be found- in and around.
Summer cold or winter warm,
Its always 'me', its always 'I am.'

It comes in bits

It comes in bits in points and sheets, in
sounds and treats in creats and feats, with
the end of a charming baritone, with
the regular hum of your nasal tone, with
the decaying silence of the telephone, with
the memory of strength like a
Old age and you are alone,
and teardrops always
weigh like a

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Touch me not

Reality doesn't touch me when I sit here in my home, alone in twilight, 
listening to Chopin, Chopin. Chopin. I have a running nose and a 
running heart, some days when she is around, Ma says, I will 
ruin her keyboard too, my running fingers dooming 
keys that make no music, trying to grasp reality- 
and yet I know, I don't touch it
and it doesn't touch

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Pill Merchant

It takes a little blue pill every time, to wake each of us up. We stay on the other side, happy in our sleep, allowing ourselves to live our life in the drowsiness of misery.  Nothing in this city surprises me anymore, the dust had long settled in the crevices of my lungs. No health official with his lousy application and flashy chart of referral  medicines could do anything about it. Sometimes when I am out on the roads choking carbon colloids and coughing my breath away- I don’t even get to excuse myself and on those days perhaps the anthem that’s locked inside my body oozes out through my mouth. The days go by in the arguments of lust-less opera. The silent opera of one’s mind make funny hideous sounds, and sometimes you meet people who in their own misery excuse themselves to be angry at the world- angry at their situation and yet sitting idly like a tall tree without a shadow to offer. I have often wondered that one day I would turn out like them, and I have often been scared.
On merry sunlit mornings over thinking leads to depression, and then I would look for ways to stay away- from people, situations, love and the likewise disease of the human condition. On one such morning, tired of my condition I looked for a solution. And this went on for quite some time before looking for a solution itself started becoming a problem. The gentle thunder storms were all over the city now, flashing electric signals over our head. On one such day, when the skies were roaring in connubial laughter; I met him. He was like any other man on the square, selling lozenges, to earn his daily bread. I felt his presence like you feel a magnet. It was different- that’s all I can say. As I approached him he started smiling tilting his head on one side and telling me – I have got the perfect dose for you mister. 10 buck a piece. I trusted his words, for I weren’t like those people who were locked in their own misery that  they were afraid to check out on the world. I must hate this world a lot too- I must hate people a lot too, perhaps that’s why I keep on mentioning them time and over again. I must remain above this, I thought. Those days I didn’t have any friends and people had an utmost dislike for me because I didn’t fit their understanding- or perhaps I was too bad. Sometimes the simplest explanation about ourselves offered us the most solace and yet if someone loved you they wouldn’t believe that.

I am evil, I must be evil.

The songs from the morning were locked in my head. Young lovers in tunic dresses, that’s how the lyrics went on. The man took out ten blue capsules and put them inside a paper envelope, and said, one for each night for the next ten days, and you will find happiness. I smiled at him allowing myself to feel humoured and amused both at the same time. The circumstances under which all of this happened was rather a turbulent one- my insides were still choked in conflicts and my outsides expressed that in whopping coughs, an ugly man the Pill Merchant he called himself gave me ten blue pills, to wake up on the other side of reality-
was it death?

It takes a little blue pill every time, to wake each of us up. We stay on the other side, happy in our sleep, allowing ourselves to live our life in the drowsiness of misery and then one fine day it all makes sense- this silent suffering and we get better, better than the present and the past.  I met a lot of funny people here and our stories ran parallel, and most of us weren’t what we thought of ourselves- we weren’t evil, our silent confirmations that we were sensitive and a bit ahead of our time, was confirmed, that was the beauty of that world. We were safe. I sometimes wonder if that world is a lie. But holding on conflicting opinions within you makes you a paradox- it’s better than being a bigot perhaps. The world still doesn't get us at times I feel. I don’t know what the Pill Merchant would think. He always smiles tilting his head.

The truth is I have been visiting a shrink lately, for all normal folks it must be a sin I guess, but I am a doer, if I have a problem I work on it, and when he heard that I write he asked me to write something for him. I don’t know if he would like this story, not every day you get
to meet a pill merchant, that too
an ugly one.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Je Suis Charlie, Je Suis Virat Hindu

I bought three pretty idols of Saraswati from the local market, and guess what, I dropped them from the third floor to see how many pieces they would break into. I got scorned looks from my neighbors and family members, but well the broken pieces scattered across the alley made a pattern which was rather beautiful, it was art, you see. My kind of art. What do they know?
Je Suis Charlie.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The sound of bombs.

Thereof, thereupon
through this turmoil history
you shall conquer this gossamer land
looking back at times
while never looking

I still wake up to the sound of bombs,

Through this turmoil of history
your name shall be etched in
the pathos of every lover and
in mornings when I
wake up, I will hear you
play Orpheus’s lyre- and time
shall lose its meaning in
beauty as stones will melt
like hearts,

and hearts will melt like

ice in the heat of


It was 

Monday, January 19, 2015

But In Memory.

The unkempt time keeper-
what is that lies in the rudder of  
your soul?

The unhinged door, what more noise
could you possibly store?

The tousled wind, did you not make her
look at me?

Is it not I, who looks at the past or does the
past look at me?

And in memory begins
But in memory begins