Watery fist

The gale gradually gains momentum

silvery strands of lightning angrily strike the seas

boisterous clouds let loose the pelting marbles

pummeling the deck mercilessly

sheets of rain obscure the view

churlish waves crash and bang against the hull

furious foam spills over the bulwark

it is an unevenly pitched battle

the fury of nature giving no quarter

an emergency like situation prevailing

the aging ship rolls ponderously

valiantly trying to stay afloat.

First Flush

I stop mid-guffaw

to find your eyes on me

and though I am not the blushing kind

I feel heat travelling up my neck

I look away flustered

but find my gaze drawn to you

you are still looking my way

is it mere caprice or an irrefutable truth

and I swear my heart somersaults

you say something

but the roar in my ears is loud and drowns your voice

I breathe in shallow bursts

none of our friends notice anything

with trembling fingers I gather my books

hugging them to my errant heart

I quietly try to slink away

Before my eyes can give my heart away.

बूँदें

खिड़की पर बूँदों की थिरकन सरगोशियाँ है करती
कभी धीरे-धीरे थाप दे कर, तो कभी घुँघरूओं की तेज झंकार सी।

कभी दस्तक देती हैं बेतहाशा, ढूँढती हैं मुझे
तो कभी आगाह करती हैं कि बारिश है तेज।

सराबोर करें कभी मेरे दिल का प्याला
इक हूक सी उठे और मन हो बावला।

तमाम रात चला बूँदों का रक्स
वाह-वाह करते रहे झूमते दरख्त।

भीगता ही रहा मेरा शहर दिन भर
दिलों में मलाल बरकरार रहा पर।

बूँद-बूँद कर बस पिघलता रहा आसमान
रिसता रहा गम, दिल था कुछ पशेमान।

आँखों के अश्क बह गए बारिश की ओट में
सिसकियाँ दब गई बादलों की गर्जन में।

वो जो चली एक बूँद छोड़ अपना ठिकान
वो तो बस ढूँढ रही थी मेरा ही मकान।

मैं तो बूँद सी बस छलकती ही रहूँ
प्यार हूँ मैं, बस बरबस बरसती रहूँ।

I apologize to my non-Hindi friends for my inability to translate these couplets on rain. I did try but the essence was lost. 🙏🏼

Crafty nights

The day is innocent but the night is crafty

working overtime its spinnerets of complexities

weaving a web so intricate and labyrinthine

which welcomes with its nuanced artistry

of spangled stars and galvanic galaxies

I fall under its black magical spell

to find myself intoxicated
by the darkness

that beckons so alluringly and suddenly

I find myself spiralling into a nightmare

I scramble and scratch and slip and slide

skinning my knees and heart

just when I think I am losing the battle

my eyes flutter open, my tenacity wins

I like days; they are innocent

nights are as deviously crafty as they can be!

The Last Hurrah

The monsoon is having its last hurrah

Before relinquishing stage to much awaited autumn

It arrived quietly

No drum rolls of thunder

No flashes of lightning

No rushing of clouds

It started hesitatingly

A bit unsure of self

A gentle drizzle

Testing notes

Then gradually it warmed up

Gained strength

The drizzle turned into a downpour

Steady, stacatto beats

Drenching every being

In its upbeat notes

The melody enrapturing the soul

For the finale act

Darkest clouds gathered

Lightning flashed

Thunder clapped uproariously

Creating a symphony oft heard

But with fresher notes every time

The trees bowed to its masterful display

The nature dressed in its Sunday best

Stood up for ovation

At the dying notes

As monsoon bowed out gracefully

The heart thirsted for encore.

(Recently I have been sharing poems on rains on a daily basis. This one is the last, for now!)

Humble homage

I nearly succumb to the extravagance

to impress with my highfalutin and florid expression

as I sing paean to my stillborn idea

that could not blossom into a verse

then the realization dawns;

it is a tristful situation

and along with idea whose time had not come,

I also bury quietly the idea of pretentious assertions

I gather my thoughts and have to admit

a bright idea does not need tasselled embellishments

and a non-idea cannot be saved

by glittering but hollow grandiloquence.

Only on Sundays

Hidden beneath a pile of laundry like a soiled secret

sunk under a sink full of dirty dishes, a sodden regret

pinned between the grocery lists, some guilt

swept away by the mop and the broom, a bucketful of unfulfilled wishes

sucked in by a vacuum cleaner, all enthusiasm

held down by a pile of files, weighty questions

drowned by different voices, creating cacophony

skulking behind the laptop like a scolded child

sulking underneath the smartphone, a lone desire

lost in the amazon forest of eking a living

life is bruised, battered and bypassed on weekdays;

days that are chockablock with the art of surviving

and then…

a night of languid rediscovery

unrestrained giggles, tousled heads,

teenage tangle of lanky limbs on my bed

brighten my late, lazy morning

as I follow a flitting butterfly,

trace the delicate veins of fallen leaves

inhale deeply the fresh smell of grass

and listen to an old forgotten melody

I feel life unhurriedly seeping back into me

I finally come alive on Sundays

to tackle the days that follow.