If Only

If only it was easier done than said
If only living were appreciated rather than dead
If only one could understand what’s left unsaid
If only for once you were me instead
Perhaps life would have some meaning to it.

If only you understood what I meant
If only harsh words were left unspent
If only scoring points was not the aim
If only life was just a game
Perhaps losing and winning would not have mattered.

If only todays were lived to the fullest
If only yesterdays had no regrets
If only tomorrows could be perfect
If only we would stop and reflect
Perhaps this world would be a happier place.

If only compassion was not the sign of the weak
If only we would listen before we speak
If only we sometimes refrained from acquiesce
If only silence was not misconstrued as cowardice
Perhaps accepting our flaws would make us humane again.

If only life was easy and simple
If only  our life could be an example
If only conflict could amicably be resolved
If only all our problems could be solved
Perhaps then life would be so boring.

So let there be a wee bit of vitriol
For we can’t please one and all
But let there be level playing ground
And never stoop to conquer the crowd
For we have only one life to live.


The Photo

I wonder if he was talking about me?
But he said he is not in touch with me!
Aren’t we connected through whatsapp now?
Of course we haven’t exchanged a word uptil now!
Does he really have my photo?
Have I changed so much that I look incognito?
Of course I am no longer as slim!
I am sure he too is not as trim!
If only he had put a DP
Placing him would have been easy.
I often wonder what would have happened
If a few words were spoken.
But why rake up all this now!
Wouldn’t it create such a row!
To create a stir at this age
With my child on the verge of marriage
What if someone guesses its me?
I am sure I’ll die of ignominy!
If my family comes to know of it
I tell you, I’ve really had it.

But actually it accelerates my heart beat a bit
Did he really mean it, when he said it.
I mean, he must have cared then
To mention it and put it in pen.
I feel my heart pounding like a teenager
Oh! if only we were teenagers!
I know it will be foolhardy to pursue this
Tomorrow I ‘ll think no more of this
But today let me wrap myself tight
In this feeling of love, alright.

The Photo Album

I was in a rush yesterday

Health insurance premium had to be paid,

Hunting for misplaced papers,
The cupboard I did raid.

And out fell this album

To totally disrupt my day.

Yesterday I put it away,

But I am going through it today.

It is full of bittersweet memories

Of the time we fondly call childhood.

How young we were then.

I recall how clueless about guiles of adulthood.

We had slung our arms around each others’ shoulders
Squinting in the sun, grinning at each other

Best friends then, now occasional acquaintance

Our plans waylaid by life and none other.

I smile as l look at this one taken long ago

My then best friend with my number one enemy!

In this picture I have such thick growth of hair
I wonder why I am losing it now so rapidly.

This one is an absolute gem,

My favourite teacher and I in the same frame.
Oh! this is the farewell one

We all look so grown up before we set forth to attain fame.

And this is of the memorable historical trip

I wonder where that girl in the corner is.

Now comes the picnic photo

I can’t recall the date and place this is

But the revelry is still etched in my mind.

And the fun fills my heart after all these years.

As I shut the album with a smile on my face

Out slips a photo which I can’t recall I ever took.

I sit down on the bed, memories flooding my mind.

I am not in this frame, why then do I have it with me?

I stare and stare, casting back my mind

Gosh! Did I have a crush then?
I can’t seem to recall feeling this way
Was the feeling mutual or was it just silly old me?

Did I make a fool of myself in any way?

Haven’t been in touch since we left school

I do not know the whereabouts,

Nor the profession this person undertook

However hard I try

I cannot recall ever exchanging a word!

And the whole day I have been puzzling

How come I have this photo?

To Dad

As I hold your gnarled hand,

I think of the days when the grip was strong.

When you taught me to swing the bat,

As well as that one time you slapped me hard,

For lying was something you could never tolerate.


As I gaze at your wrinkled face,

I will you to open your eyes

And just this once talk to me.

You look so frail surrounded by machines

With tubes snaking around,

like a tightening noose.

I feel my breath catching in my throat

And as I choke back that sob,

You return my grip.

The light might have faded from your eyes

But they still twinkle at my sight.

You pat my hand, give a lopsided smile.


And I know alls right with the world

I may be on the verge of granddaddyhood

But I am not ready to bid you goodbye

You may think you are not of much use

But I think I would like you around

For a few years more.


Books speak to us.
Have you noticed, how they entice?
Its the jacket that first snags your attention
Then the blurb has you rooted to the spot.
And as you reverentially open it
The sweet smell has you in its thrall!!

You must absolutely have it
you decide
As you hurry out of the store
The brown paper bag clutched to your chest
You know an exciting
journey is to begin
And till then you just cannot rest.

As you make yourself comfortable at your favourite spot
A frisson of excitement runs down your spine.
You take the first tentative step
Its as intoxicating as the first sip of wine
The words weave their magic
You are transported to a new world.

The joy and the ecstasy,
The pain and the sorrow,
The adventure and the discovery,
The intrigue  and the mystery.
As you swim with the characters
And fight their demons
You become the main character
Surmounting all odds.

After the final denouement,
As you put down the book
You are exhausted as well as
For this amazing ride that you took.

Then after a while the restlessness begins
You are itching for another one
For this thirst is unquenchable
You must have at least another one.
On and on continues this affair,
With books everyone must have a love affair.

कच्चा आम

आज सुबह से मैं वैसे ही जली भुनी बैठी थी
तुम्हारी बारिश ने ठंडा कर दिया।
मुझे आज जब कच्चे आम खरीदने पड़ें
सच्च कहती हूँ, तन मन में आग सी लग गई।
सारा बचपन आम, अमरूद,बेर,
जामुन तोड़ तोड़ खाये हैं
अब कहते हैं, मोल लेने पड़ेंगे!
बचपन तब कितना याद आता है
कैसे मैं करूँ ब्यान!

और फिर बारिश तो न जाने
हर साल कहाँ फुर्र हो जाती
बस उमस से ही सावन में
हर साल दो चार हो जाते हैं
किश्तियाँ तो यहाँ कहाँ,
बाल्टी की हो कर रह जातीं  हैं।
बच्चे कभी न पेड़ों पर चढ़े हैं
यहाँ पेड़ों पे चढ़ने की क्लासें लगतीं हैं!
इमारतों के इस जंगल में
सब ऊपर चढ़ने की होड़ में हैं।
इतवार की क्या बात करें
बस घर के ही हो रह जातें हैं।

इस कच्चे आम ने कमबख़्त
सारे वो ज़ख्म हरे कर दिए हैं
जिनको यादों में दफना कर
हम ज़िंदगी बनाने निकले थे।


माना आदर्श पुत्र न बन पाया
पर दुर्व्यवहार भी कभी न किया
याद मुझे है सारे कष्ट जो आपने झेले
ताकि हम बने इस जग में भले
छोटे थे, तो भी सब याद है माँ
पैबंद वाले आँचल में था जहां
आपकी हर डाँट, हर मनुहार
बाबा का गुस्सा और फिर प्यार।

आज जो भी हूँ, जहँ भी हूँ
ऋणी तो सदैव आपका ही हूँ
बच्चों बीवी नौकरी में व्यस्त जरूर हूँ
पर आप का न हो ख्याल, ऐसा तो नहीं हूँ।
बहू तो आप ही पसंद कर लाए थे
उसका ध्यान रखना भी तो मेर फर्ज है
बेटी को दुआएँ देते नही थकते
कभी इस बेचारी का भी आशीर्वाद पे हक बनता है।

जीवन की जिस सीढ़ी पर आज हैं आप
कल मैं भी वहीं खड़ा  हूँगा
आप की ओर से मुँह मोड़ने का पाप
भला मैं कहाँ कर पाऊँगा
आप के प्यार का हाथ
बस यूँ ही सिर पर बना रहे
दूर रहता हूँ जरूर,
पर मन में दूरी कभी न रहे।

Fools’ Day

( A poem for my school friends referring to various hilarious incidents in school)
Now, how does one write a tale
That will tickle everyone’s funny bone
It is not a laughing matter, mind you
To have that rib tickling tone.
Either you will have people smirking at your attempt
Or merrily guffawing all the way
But whatever you write, you have to keep in mind
No stepping on toes, as you humour thickly lay.

Now, should I start with the tale of the boy
Who fainted while assisting at an operation
Or of the girl who fainted at the lepers’ colony
So that by the principal she could get cooperation.
Or perhaps of the time
When a teacher’s denture fell out
And for laughing out loud
The whole class was marched out.
Maybe of the time windows were opened
To let the climate come in!
Or when the pencil fell in the pickle jar
And marching orders to erring student given.

So many tales of ye faithful 81ers abound,
That I can whole day recount.
But nothing can beat the foolishness of you
In asking me to write a rhyme for you!
And more foolishness on my part
To walk on this foolhardy path!!
But the ultimate fool is you, my dear
Who takes the trouble to read this nonsense sheer!!!

Idli O Idli

( March 30 was supposedly world idli day. My tribute to it.)

How do I describe you
Oh! mouthwatering one?
Should I sing paean to your rotundity
Or the soft fluffiness
Maybe your pristine white colour
Or the melt in mouth texture?
And the accompaniments
which make my mouth water!
The delicious hot sambhar,
The textured coconut chutney,
And not to forget the fiery gunpowder.
There is none who can remain immune to your charms
Humble staple you maybe
You quieten our hunger pangs
How we envy all those for whom making idlis is no sweat at all,
Think of the rest of us, for whom turning out perfect idlis is a herculean task.

House Loyalty

( This poem is about the four houses we had in school)

Which colour do you choose?
Had we be given a choice
The same house we would choose!
For loyalty to the house runs
as deep as our roots
And players or cheerleaders
We were all in it together.

How we cheered for our teams!
And shed tears at shattered dreams!
Those memorable days of glory past
The memories of which still last.
Matches, races, jumps and heats
When academics took a back seat
And backbenchers took the podium
That heady feeling was more potent than opium.

That surge of pride that swelled our chest
When we marched as the house that was best
That inexplicable lump in the throat
When champions on teammates shoulders rode.
Whether one played any sport or not
None stayed untouched,the fervour everyone caught.

Sportsday made so many heroes
And they won’t be heroes if cheerleaders were not there
Sports was a religion for many then
They wouldn’t be on pedestal if the clapping multitude were not there.

Which house won how many times
Let this question no debate beget
House loyalty bound us all together
This lesson we should never forget.