The call

In the beginning

the serenading surf beckoned him


disregarding it

he went about his daily chores

then the sweet song of sirens became insistent

the roar and the quiet of the ocean crashing around him

woke him in the middle of the night

he looked at the woman lying next to him

her arm curled around his waist

a serene look on her face,

oblivious to his turmoil

unaware that sea was calling him

torn between the two,

he felt helpless

like watching sand slip through fingers

a heavy weight keeping him anchored

while his soul was writhing

for the salt spray on his face

the breeze in his hair

and the cyan expanse around him

away from the quotidian caterwauling

into the serene tranquility

and the porpoises,

Oh the porpoises!

beckoning him and enticing him.

gradually he was like the living dead

she noticed the faraway vacant look in his eyes,

his withdrawal and his silence

she did not want to live
with the shell of the man she loved

so, she released him

to go back in the arms of his first love

The sea.


Revenge, not justice

My crime is that I am a mother
and I get punished for it everyday
my heart breaks a bit every time I hear of a girl raped
and it breaks a bit further if it is a ghastly gang-rape
more so if she is brutally battered and beaten
and it shatters completely when she is burnt alive
the horrors of screaming newspaper headlines
the pleas of those girls begging for mercy
the tears and folded hands of parents seeking justice
echo within me again and again
thus drying up my tears completely
and killing my pulsating heart
in that empty space, I have placed
a cold, hard unbreakable steel
which thirsts for revenge and not justice by the book
don’t read out the human rights charter to me
if I want to see each rapist dead
I don’t care if it is by a switch, a hangman’s noose,
in a fake encounter or public lynching
don’t tell me I am a bloodthirsty hound
don’t tell me the perpetrator suffers from some mental disease
in a mother’s world justice can never be served
for how do you nurture a bruised flower back to life
how do you put together shattered dreams
how do you drive away the demons of horror
that keep revisiting at will
revenge is served when the one who robs another’s dreams
has his dreams robbed too!

( There have been a spate of gang rapes here with the girls being set to fire by the perpetrators. Listening to the news and reading about it in newspapers daily, can’t leave one unmoved!)

In an instant

Her thoughts experience a series of seismic swings
running rapidly after the end and beyond
free falling through a fold in time
damaged and wasted; lying prone
draped in the hues of melancholy
sitting demurely in the lap of hopelessness
but winds of hope lift her on wings of promise
memories of enchanted times sashay saucily
reminding her of the advent of better times
and a half smile dangles from the corner of her lips.

Mind you!

I may seem self sufficient

I may look strong and capable

I may multi-task

I may work hard and long

but I do get tired

and my poor feet hurt too

Yet I plod on doggedly

and am fastidious about things I do

And then one day realisation dawns

I may try my best to please all

my every step is noted

people are waiting for my fall

this enrages me so much

that I refuse to break

I decide to live my life

as I have envisaged it

no more toeing lines

no more capitulation

if I can’t live on my terms

you can hug your damnation

now you may think of me

as a case gone all wrong

I do things on my terms

for this alone I was born

don’t burden me with social mores

and unrealistic expectations

nor bore me with uplifting words

I am an unruly, sturdy wildflower

not a dainty greenhouse carnation

I can survive in this big, bad world

without your advice though

yes, I am fragile yet tensile

but I am no Atlas, mind you!

Burning bright

Longing wouldn’t leave her alone
sitting on the rims of her eyes
like yesterday’s kohl
ringing in her ears
in the form of an old- loved melody
permeating her senses
with startling muskiness
tingling the nape of her neck
with a touch so familiar
fizzing on her tongue
pulsating in her veins mercurially
folded between her heartbeats like the first love letter
overwhelming her being
with its stinging salt spray

the moon laughed at her yearning
mocking her lovelorn state
the stars misaligned purposely
the winter rain coldly drenched her
but they could not put out
the flame of longing burning bright within her.