What do you see, 2020?

On the cusp of the changeover

as you look at your reflection, 2020,

what do you see?

do you see disease, death and despair

dithering decisions, deplorable delays

drunken dawdling of depraved desperation,

depressingly dud deliberations,

dropping deeper into the dungeon of despondency

domestic drudgery and drowsiness dominating

the moments of delight dodging longevity

raving, ranting and regretting

when everything and nothing overwhelmed

and selfishness supremely reigned!

Or do you see nature coming into its own once again

family times, selflessness and gratitude

the tireless toils of the committed

giving freely and helping the helpless

time to ponder, to see the larger picture

to realise the worthlessness of the proud “I am”

to hold precious stillness and the quiet

ephemerality never more obvious

than in the moments spent in introspection

getting in touch with all aspects of self; good, unseen and carefully hidden

accepting the reality with equanimity

rising above the humdrum to connect at a higher plane!

Or all you see is the sameness

that happens eerily year after year

the ever moving cycle of life crushing a few

and taking forward the doughty rest

do you think you were a necessary pause

a lesson that humanity had forgotten

a test that earthlings had to take

will it tiptoe in quietly like you did

will there be a big bang of change

2020 do you see 2021 following your footsteps

or will it breakaway cleanly from your shackles

will it be the same old dawn

or the dawning of a new era, you too are not privy to!

What do you see # 62 – December 28th 2020

Wishing my blogging family a very happy new year! May it be a year of good health, contentment and peace for all.


My inner child

(Unleashing the ten year old me…)

English is so confusing and confounding, o lord!

I think I’ll go crazy studying it, egad!

The table has two pairs of legs but refuses to walk

The chair has arms but can only rock!

The hands of the clock are useless there

For neither can they clap nor comb my hair!

The comb has innumerable teeth yet cannot bite

Whereas the shoe has only a tongue but still manages to bite!

The ear of corn is the most useless of all

It can never ever hear when I give a call!

The heart of the artichoke never ever beats

The nose of the aeroplane surprisingly never leaks!

Oh mom, please help me I will go crazy

For there’s frog in my throat and butterflies in my tummy!

Now, don’t you lose temper or harangue

Mom! I think that the cat has got your tongue!

What do you see # 61 – 21st December 2020

Ugly truths

“inkblots mutate
to form pictures,
I did not create”

In my mind’s eye
the words are perfectly aligned
arranged and arraigned
tasked to perform prettily
when I sit down to spill ink
they assume shapes of their own
writing stories I did not dictate!

Photo by mikoto.raw from Pexels


Year end clean up

The year had dawned like the previous one

usual fanfare but nothing unusual about its arrival

then the pandemic dropped like a bomb

leaving us all verklempt and uncertain

but I have had enough and am determined

to exterminate this year completely

the last few days of the abominable year lurk slyly

I can no longer procrastinate the clean up

so with a broom and a dust pan in hand

I am going from room to room of my mind

to clean up the mess of this year

behind the door I find a spider web

entangled in it is a half dead romance

which floundered in the enforced separation

under the bed amidst the dust motes

are some old and many new regrets

shuffling from one corner to the other

restless, rudderless and remorseless

hidden behind some old ill-fitting clothes in the closet

are a mound of expectations which remained unfulfilled

they still look at me with accusing eyes

hoping to bear fruition

my complexes sit under the table glaring balefully

daring me to acknowledge and accept them

there is a box in the loft , filled with stench

I open it, to be shrouded in a miasma of anger

anger of discontent brewing for nine months

on the coffee table is an overturned tea cup

with the dregs of grudges still clinging to it

I vacuum the old threadbare carpet

the dust bag is filled with hidden pain

and out tumble a pile of vile secrets

shoved under during the year

when I pick an old shoe box

I find unremarkable memories lying prone and neglected

unremembered and unappreciated

some stale anxieties are lying in the fridge

along with some frozen revenge

the colony of complains run helter skelter

caught unawares by my determined broom

cussed stubbornness is hiding in a drawer

refusing to budge even an inch

comparisons lie under the quilt

and depression keeps skulking in the shadows

impetuous judgement sits on my favourite chair

staring at me disdainfully

thank god bigotry lay wilted

‘cos I am forgetful about watering plants

lethargy and fatigue require adroit scrubbing

they have cunningly ensconced themselves to the point of invisibility

I pick each one and shove them into a biodegradable bag

I could have just thrown them into the trash can

but these slimy snakes would have slithered back

so I make a bonfire of them all

and stand guard, till each burns down to cinders

then I immerse the ashes in the fast flowing stream of life

to take them as far away from me as possible

a great burden has been lifted from my heart

I know they will soon return in some other form

I don’t expect anything fancy or highbrow from the new year

just yearn for some rustic simplicity, good old joy,

a little hope, much love and lasting contentment.

So far yet so close

He can imagine her sitting on the porch

in the fading light of a long day

the setting vivid in his mind

as he too watches the dying embers of the sun

dusty and muddy, lying in a trench

he knows the radio would be tuned to the evening news

her heart in her mouth as she would intently hang on

to the monotone of the newsreader

her tea forgotten, a v-shaped frown creasing her delicate brow

happy tears hugging her cheeks

on learning of no more casualties

there is only static on his radio

a disembodied voice suddenly reads out a list

of cities spared bombardment

the voice fades in and out

still he catches the name of his city

relief courses through his weary, wounded body

as they both caress their radios

for a heartwarming moment they are connected

so far yet so close.

What do you see # 60 – 14 December 2020

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #125: heartwarming

Your hands, my words

Your hands hold me protectively

my hands write; evoke life’s glory

the give and take, the working in tandem theory

unfolding every day a new story!

Your hands are pragmatic and solid

keeping me grounded on world stage well nigh!

my words rise loftily high

building a mansion in the sky!

Your hands are cool and neutral

not withdrawn but working methodically

my words spill moodily

somewhat convinced but not completely!

Your strong hands are lovingly gentle

making me twirl giddily on my feet

my words are shy and sweet

promising you heaven, when with thine they meet!

Your hands span my waist

spinning my world dizzily

my words unfurl softly

caressing your feelings tenderly!

Your hands weave magic mostly

with joy they make me scream

my words gush forth like a stream

passionate and full of dreams!

Our hands discover and create

as we continue on this journey shared

in silence as well when words exchanged

we may regret, but want nothing changed!



Waiting for January

Riding on the tired shoulders of December

across the not so pellucid sky

the phlegmatic moon trudges wearily once more

one last circumambulation, it fumes inwards

in search of the change that might be the harbinger

of a chance to offset the rapscallion year!

Its pearly luminescence waxing and waning in vain

searching solutions for the earth’s quandary

seeking unsuccessfully remedies unavailable

no ingenious answer written in the stars

no messengers sent by the apathetic heavens!

The migrating cranes escaping the hogamadog

awash with pity for the unevenly sliced orb

promise to look for the reluctant January

and persuade it to replace lumbering December

cynical Luna believing unbelievingly

(for it has no other recourse)

awaits sceptically for it to usher in fresh beginnings

post haste!

What do you see # 59 – 7 December 2020

News in peril

Before my sleep addled mind could align with my lazy bones

my hands would reach out for the crisp black and white

morning tea was incomplete without

worldwide view sans sentimentalism or sensationalism.

There was a time I used to carry a newspaper

while waiting at the post office, metro station or at the doctor’s

to avoid engaging with people

for the daily told the truth at a slant.*

That was the time when a fire in California could undo the reader

or a Wimbledon match energise everyone

burning issues of the far-flung world

condensed in 600 by 750 broadsheet.

Now the world has become smaller

our vision narrow and parochial

mired in local political concerns

narcissism triumphing over the canopy of universality.

Fires of nationalism fan fragile feelings

real news hidden in small columns on page 18

journalism on sale to the highest bidder

newspapers don’t carry the onus of news anymore!


*Doffing my hat to Emily Dickinson.

Being alone

Horrified by my own shadow, I retreat
but the cold walls of indifference repel me
despair clings to my fearful heart
emptying it of all hope
am I dying as I lose all my desires!
my smile has never been more artificial
the lonely ocean lures my ghosts of aloneness
offering refuge in its suspended waves
the jaded feelings set sail to darkness
not afraid of sinking in the quagmire of hopelessness
the sun offers nothing new or exciting each day
so I warmly embrace the chill night
waiting for eternal sleep.

Ode to friendship

When I got to know you

we were barely five or four

there might have been others before you

I scarcely remember if them I did adore!

What bound and united us then

remains difficult to explain till date,

we are as different as chalk and cheese

so maybe it was karma or plain fate!

I was dark, skinny and quite shy

you tall, fair, pretty and brainy to boot

all things considered

we were mismatched, to tell you the truth!

We were never the ones to take things lying down

together we were sisters in arms, having each others back

your enemy was mine too, as was mine yours

taking up the cudgels for each other, we often cut each other slack!

Despite marriage, kids and distance

this unlikely alliance has survived till date

we have remained committed to our friendship

though along the way we gathered many a mates!

We may not meet often but our bond gives us comfort

for first friendship is like first crush

it can never be easily forgotten

years may have gone by, it is still in its first flush!

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #123: warrior

What do you see # 58- 30th November 2020