Saturday, July 24, 2010


I made my first mistake of site snooping, basically literary sites. Found one, in fact the largest one, and uploaded my first innocent post. A poem which I had posted in other sites too and received encouraging comments. Here also I did not have to wait for long and pat came the comments. All encouraging ones. I was, with every reason for being so, inflated. I posted more. I got more encouragements. While going through these comments, I found a reader following my posts steadfastly and eulogizing my work in flowery phrases. I made my second mistake of sending him a private message ( a provision allowed within the site itself) thanking him profusely for his positive comments and eulogy. His reply came promptly. He was curious to know more about me and my inspiration. I sent a limited reply back as I always found it difficult to talk/write about myself. He pursued my posts as well as private messages. I got a friendship request too which I foolishly affirmed as I, at that point of time, could not hazard a guess that these innocent exchanges would lead to such ignominous results. Soon the comments and the messages started changing colour and becoming more and more personalized as though the reader knew me for long. I could sense danger and wrote back to him to restrict his purview to literary exchanges alone. He apologized and withdrew quite politely promising me that he would keep on reading my poems but would refrain from commenting any further. So much so good. But soon after, hacking attempts were made on my g mail account from an unknown IP Server which after investigation was found to be situated somewhere in New York. Although, this gentleman was reportedly from Nepal and of course there was no proof to attribute the hacking attempts to him. But suspicion is a dangerous poison. Since, all these events or accidents were eerily coincidental too I could not help but be apprehensive about this man's intentions. Moreover, in one of his private messages he had wrote that his hobby was to read people's mind which, on hindsight, I feel is all the more dangerous if not evil. I write this to caution other on-line movers and shakers so that they are not misguided into such traps. I paid for my naivety, the others should not. Moreover, there are sites which allow the identities of users to remain undisclosed behind jabber names and "avatars" which allows such miscreants to have a field day without getting caught.

After this mishap, I have gradually withdrew from that particular site and so has my fan. Odd isn't it? Considering his membership history, he was an old timer.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I am hooked on rains. So I shall muse about the same for a while. But this is in a different note.

Mr. Snow Boot (my pet) has an odd guest every year. In fact we have kind of come to look forward to this annual invasion now. It’s a tiny, fragile looking miniature crane like bird with an orange beak and thin, slender orange legs, a white body and tail striped with black plumes. She has an unmelodious squeak and makes quite a ruckus as she plonks down at our gate. Boots, however “busy” he may be, comes running out to welcome her. He squats on haunches and has a peculiar expression on his face as if gazing upon the ninth wonder of the world. His ears are cocked up and a slight frown creases his forehead. He keeps on following the bird’s movements with an intent expression and ears picked up listening with great concentration to whatever she squeals about. The bird stalks and hovers around our gate giving vent to a cacophony of shrill notes intercepted by Boot’s low, soft woofs which take on varied shades of a growl, grunt, grumble, query, moan, amazement so on and so forth, not particularly in that order though.. For onlookers, it will seem as though both of them are having an intimate exchange. This goes on for half to an hour or so till the strange bird takes to the sky strengthening our belief that she comes only to meet our Mr. Boots and none else. I often try to make out with amused wonder what the “conversation” must be centering around. Most probably something like this?

The Bird: Hi Snow! How is life? I have brought a message from the clouds.

Snow: I am fine. Clouds? You said clouds? What are these clouds?

The Bird: You don’t know the cottony, fluffy, snowy clouds floating by the sunny, smiling sky?

Snow: Of course I know those white fragments of downy pillows. But they are far away

man! You cannot even lay your head on them and have a happy snooze.

The Bird: So what? See I am light, I can fly past the sun, touch the stars and kiss the


Snow: Kiss the moon and touch the stars? Haa! What rubbish! They are too far. You cannot reach them. I know that. They said that on the TV too. I heard between my evening naps. These guys were talking about that too.

The Bird: You can, if you want to. But Snow you are stuck to the ground. You don’t have wings. You can’t even fly!

Snow: Wings? What wings? I have my tail and four strong paws.

The Bird: But still you are chained. See you have a shackle around your neck too.

Snow (loftily): Chain? Collar it is and expensive too.

The Bird: Tell me Snow, are you happy here?

Snow: Of course yes. These guys are good to me (then gritting his teeth) except that little wench, Kitty, with the wicked green eyes that prowls in during night and purrs with unfeigned disdain. Otherwise I am okay. These guys take good care of me. They give me sumptuous lunch and dinner and a special bed to sleep too. Sometimes I slip under the blanket (with a wink) in wintry nights and cuddle up to her. She pampers me the most. The fat one. Once in a while, when I do something right, she rewards me with a biscuit or two. Oh yes, they love me all right.

The Bird: Still Snow, you don’t enjoy freedom as I do. I fly past the green meadows in my own whim and fancy, play with the shadows and rest on thick foliages and have a chat with the bumble bee and the blushing blooms when I wish to.

Snow: (with awe): Bumble bee you said. Is there more to life than luscious bones and freshly baked bread?

The Bird: (irritated): Oh Snow! You are such a caged soul. You cannot think beyond biological satisfaction and material delights. Look at your plight! You were born free but chained for life.

Snow: (a little put down): Haa! I suppose you are right. (Then with a philosophical sniff) Each to his world, pal (sigh). Now I can smell the crunchy beads of Pedigree. Let me go and have a munch. You keep coming friend whenever you make a visit to our land and tell me about the cottony clouds and the bumbling bee (smacking his lips).

I am no bird watcher. Therefore, I cannot identify her by name. But I call her the rain bird because soon after she visits, it invariably rains.


She would brush away
The unshed tears
And the beads of sweat on her forehead
With calloused fingers
Drown her strangled sobs
Sometimes a black eye
A purple bruise; gaping gashes
In mirthless giggles
And clean the utensils
Mop, broom, dust the house
And wash clothes
Throughout the day

She had two children,
One six and the other just two years old
She’d bring them with her to work
Bare feet
Running nose
Button less shirts
They’d play in dust and mud
The whole day
While she worked

In the evenings
When the sun turned
A huge tomato orange
And dipped down quietly
Into the golden blue waters
She’d catch hold of their arms
One on either side
And walk back home
Through the misty meadows

Nightfall she’d lit a fire
To cook a simple dinner
Feed her children and
Tuck them to bed
And then wait for long hours
For those staggering feet
And muffled knocks on the door
Get ready to be mauled and
Molested like the Mother Earth.

In those shivering winter mornings
She’d boil herself a cup of steaming tea
Before getting down to work
Sometimes bathe in the
Pale autumn sun
With detached distraction on the verandah
In the sizzling summers she’d hit the well
Midday and douse her supple blade of a
Figure in buckets full of cold, sweat water
And in spring she’d enjoy a swing
In the mellow chiffon breeze of
Fragrance and bloom
A swing tied to the old stooped tree
With thick foliage
Her anklet bells would chime with
The soft sway and rhythm of the swing
Her glass bangles jingling merrily

Sometimes she’d hum a tune
A song of her land
Or croon a lullaby to her little one
Under the old tree in muggy afternoons
In between work
And sometimes play with them
In uncontained merriment
But the songs were rare
Very, very rare
So was the play

At dusk while going back home,
She’d call out to maa
“I’ll come tomorrow again, Beeji”
But one day she did not come back
Nether the day next nor the day after
Some said she was no more
Others said she had eloped with
A young stranger
The children bare feet, running nose
Were left alone in dust and mud
The father brought home a new mother
To look after them

Maa was not surprised
She took it in her stride
I’d sometimes think of her
Not sometimes quite often

A knock at the door and I’d imagine
Her on the other side of the threshold
Standing and smiling

When the mangoes drooped down
From the branches
Tired by their own weight
She’d scamper up like the squirrels
And bring down a basketful
For us to empty then and there
Happy juice sliding down the sides
Of the mouth and fingers
Licking them greedily

When the thunders struck
And the rains lashed in heavily
I saw her on the yard
Picking up the clothes off the wire
Her saree billowing in air
Unrestrained strands
Of jet black hair
Dancing in air
With unkempt joy
She was just sixteen or seventeen

But she made a choice
Which we seldom do
As women
A choice between unkind, cruel pain
And comfortable sorrow

I hope she comes back again
To her dirty, neglected children
And embrace them happily
And play with them like before

Till then stilled in time
Resonate the eerie echoes
The tinkle of her anklet bells
The jingle of her glass bangles
Her mirthless worthless giggles.

This poem is based on the true story of our housemaid of my childhood days who was a victim of domestic abuse and violence and had to ultimately flee from her home for survival. Thereafter, she was untraceable. However, varied rumours were rampant which died a natural death in due course of time. I am talking about those times when such incidents were not seen too kindly or sympathetically by our conservative society. She hailed from the desserts and was as beautiful as any other desert girl. I still remember, days would pass by that she would not come to work and suddenly appear one fine morning smiling rosily and appearing positively manhandled. I have not dwelt too deeply into the darker, gloomier parts of her life in these verses as her prankish giggles still echo in my ears even after though many, many years have rolled by.


The mangled body was found in the communal garbage bin dumped carelessly in the stale, foul smelling, nauseating heap of dirt and debris. The face was almost unrecognizable, half charred and battered. The hair was shriveled and a streak of crimson ran through the middle parting where the head had been repeatedly and brutally bashed. It was a girl’s manhandled carcass which in deathly silence aroused shudders and shocks in even the most hard-hearted ones. Her red and gold embroidered saree and cream and gold bangles covering from arm till elbow was sufficient proof that she was newly wed. As rough hands tried to pull out the body the anklet bells chimed unwittingly with the laboured movements. Somehow, even in that obnoxious mess, the torn chain of black beads had managed to remain stuck to the hollow of her neck, a symbol of eternal marital bliss. Thanedar Mange Ram Chatwal, the most seasoned and principled policeman around the vicinity almost puked over the body. He had only six months left to retire. His eldest daughter, Kamla, was of the very age that this girl had been, around sixteen or seventeen. Kamla had managed to scrape through school but still wanted to get enrolled in the district college. She was an average student but with non-average dreams. She wanted to be a teacher and for that she wished to study further at least as long as she could given the fact that her father wanted to marry her off before his superannuation. At least one burden would be off his shoulder. He had two more daughters in the queue to take care of. Last evening, the father and daughter had had a heated argument on this issue. Thanedar Chatwal disliked the educated girls who debated, argued and raised their voices in protest against the conventional scheme of things. He had already given an ultimatum to her that by the end of the monsoon she should be prepared to move to her new home. Chatwal was to go to the next village in the coming weekend to finalize the date of marriage. Thanedar Chatwal looked at the body with something mixed with disgust and disdain. Disgust for those who had committed this heinous crime because crime it was to burn the new bride alive for nothing but a handful of gold and coin. Disdain for the girl’s family who had forcibly married her off to the vagabond of a boy who spent jobless days gambling and drinking. Yes, Chatwal knew about the whole case as it was a small village where nothing remained hidden for long though policy enquiry would take its own formal course and the well-to-do father-in-law of the victim would not hesitate to pull all the known and unknown strings to get out of this scrape. Thanedar Chatwal felt weak in the knee and sat down on the sidewalk. Kamla’s face kept on merging with the bruised and burnt face of the dead girl blurring his vision. Thanedar Chatwal knew that his would-be-son-in-law had a permanent job in the nearby factory. He also knew that he himself had limited resources and would not be able to fulfill all their demands if the boy and his family turned out to be greedy and parasitic. More importantly, after his retirement Chatwal knew he would have a tough time feeding all six heads of his family. Thanedar Mange Ram Chatwal of Thana Munglai, PO Haroli sat there under the blazing afternoon sun and thought ………………………..

I wish by the end of the day he would be able to take the right decision which might not be an easy one.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I know the road to Heaven
But faltered on my way
Now I am in hell
Sulking all day

Sunday, July 04, 2010

I AM...................................JUST ME!

I am nameless, I am formless,
I am the clue, I am the clueless,
I am weightless depth of the depthless,
Subtle, insouciant, seamless,
I am the motion, I am the rest,
I am the worst, I am the best
I am the course, I am the crude,
I am the delicate beneath the lewd
I am seen and unseen
I am lost, I am found
I am void, I am vision
I am opaque, iridescent
I am paradox, I am paradigm
Pandemonium survived
I am just a nothing within without
I do not leave behind
Imprints on the paths,
Traveled and trampled
Ageless, withered by time
I am the space amidst the clutter
The unrest beneath the flutter
The breeze that feathers
Your fingers and hair
Ruffles and flames ignite
I am the calm, I am the disturbia
I am the bleak, the euphoria
The most coveted Utopia
Of the craziest uncrowned
The silence of the night
The blinding daylight
I am the hole gaping wide
Within the cosmos,
The cipher amidst
The wonders of celeste infinite
Interruption amidst flow
The high of the low
The genius in the slow
The invisible amongst the visible
The intangible within the tangible
The mystery of the unknown
The untold that unfolds
In speech unwound
And unheard stillness
Jarring the cacophony of sound
The bizarre, the mundane
The latent, the uncontained
The deception, the disdain
Of Nature, unfeigned
I am the genesis, the climax
The imperceptible, the flux
The immortal, the perishable,
The mathematician’s constant
The unraveled, the unrevealed
The unfathomed, the inveigled
The unquestioned, the unanswered,
The unlearnt, the unsaid, the untaught
The obvious, the evident
The hidden, the provident
The rebel, the subservient
The ceaseless, the lasting full stop
The ultimate query
The quintessential sought
Quaintly escaped, invincible, unfound
I am just a whim, a whiff or just a wish
A hint, a whisper or merely a swish
An idea of a thought till now unthought
The invaluable amongst value
The lapse in creation
The now, the by-gone,
The unseen apprehension
The significance heightened
By smeared insignificance
The perfection of all imperfect around
I am the doubt, I am the question
The dilemma, the delusion
The fallacy, the submission
The anomaly, the vexation
The enigma, the realization
The anonymity, the fixation
The rapture, the rhapsody
The thirteenth note of melody
The unseen hue of rainbow
The myth, the misnomer
The misinterpretation of thought
The absolute, the relative
The awakening, the sedative
The negative, the positive
The sanity of mind unsound
I am everything I am everywhere
I am nullity and nowhere
I am shapeless, I am sculpted
I am cherished I am neglected
I am merged and unmerged
I am vivid I am amorphous astound
I am the quantum leap
The boundless bound
The horizon, the periphery
I am chained, I am shackled
I am tied, I am unruffled
I am looming large, I am scot free
I am captured, I abscond
I am faith, I am belief
I am hope, I am relief
I am the gorge, I am the cliff
I am disaster, I am the zenith unscaled, unsought
I am the chronology, I am the blank
I am sullen, I am frank
I am barren, I am dark
I am subtle, I am stark
I am the inspiration behind all creation profound
I am the breath inhalation
And the exhalation
Also the halt hesitant breath bound
I am the light years conquered
And conquests defeated
Of light years beyond
I am intimate, I am distant
I am fatigue, I am persistent
I am perpetual, I am insistent
I am incessant, unleashed deluge vagabond
I am the finite of infinity
I am a miniscule oddity
I am the rationale of irrationality
Wisdom of the seers
Blunders ill found
I am the order amidst disorder
Or the disorder amidst order
I am cyclic amidst linear
Parallel in intertwined
I am complex, I am contrast
I am simple, I am abstract
I am the momentum of force
I am the all eternal source
I am the thesis, anti-thesis
I am meiosis, mitosis
I am vacuum, I am ether
I am stagnant, I dither
I am sustained, I am growth
I am a curse, I am the oath
I am the disgruntled, disillusioned, demoniacal hound
I am the seeker I am the found
The creation as well the destruction abound
I am the discovery, the invention
The necessity, the prevention
The devil, the evil, the sublime,
I am ancient than time
I am divinity lost unto thine
I am the delta, I am the summation
Of entirety of perception
I am the abnormality of normalcy prevalent all around
The penultimate, the Golden Mean
The continuum undivide
I am many amongst all
And one amongst many
In the final analysis
I am…………. just me

Friday, July 02, 2010


A chirpy little bird flew in to say
Lo! usher in the monsoon this day

The chirpy little bird is none other than the Mausam Bhavan whose credibility is so much under the clouds that even if it blares no one is going to believe it. But as thirst ridden that we are, I hope Mother Nature will not be so heartless as to deprive us of those most coveted droplets of mercy. Till such time, let's reiterate gustily with the boy in the village primary school who confidently translated a line in Hindi ( jham jhamake saawan barso) into English to the amazed wonder of his proud parents and fellow villagers, "Rain come jham jhama jham jham!"