Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pellets for Christmas

The canopy of hollow paper stars
of Christmas
with coloured bulbs inside
dangles from the roof
The sky is a silly dark deep
devoid of colour of any hue
The days’ drinks
hastily drunk in secret
plot a chart of dull headache
The night’s sleep is lost
against monotonous drill of hymns
of those singing out aloud
pleading the un-hearing Gods
Certain red stars in the distant roof-tops
became the mocking signs
in letters to my father
leeching on years of sweat
Those static ominous stars
Hark! the arrival of three un-wise
the following day
displaying pellets of lead
on father’s shivering hands ©

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


In little meandering droplets
they slither unseen
in factions of poetry
in shards of crystals
of the boiling spring
bringing tales of the dark earth beneath

You brought me from your tales
some of your tears
I came with mine
To meet you 'tween
verses of timelessness
To forget times that left us
halfway on a broken bridge
standed on a cliff of concrete
moulded by this very hands

Slumber swallowed evenings
found us dreading the soft dusk
when the hour arrived
asking for a conclusion
to our chronology
We left with reluctance
hand in hand
to seek another time
beyond time ©

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Is that love that wake you
On cold winters
to immerse yourself in the icy waters
of the mirror-like pukhri

Is that love that adorn you
With chandon on your nose
And phanek asengba around your waist
To immerse yourself in mekrup

Is that love that warms you
near the lei rung
When you lay a separate pukham
Serving him the choicest morsel

Is that love that heals you
When he drags you by the root of your hair
And blue blows rains on you

Is that love that created me
When he startled you
By saying you would be going home
And send you the following day
With rituals and parents

But is not that love
When you cried
Remembering that sweetheart
Who dedicated a song of heartache
On Tabiningba esei
Your first evening in a strange new house

pukhri-pond; chandon- Chandan/sandalwood;
Phanek asengba- washed sarong/ pure sarong. Women are to wear such 'undefiled' / 'pure' clothes during worship ceremonies
mekrup- type of incense;
Lei rung- hearth;
pukham- plate with a raised edge
Tabiningba esei- Can be loosely translated as 'favourite songs'. A popular radio programme of AIR. ©

Monday, December 7, 2009


My promiscuous hair
Bound in a tight knot
Veiled from my Itei
Lest the scent of Chinghi
Wafts towards him
Enhanced by the earthy smell of slight cowdung
Effusing from the moist chakravyuh
Marked by the span of my arms
Around the silent scented tulsi

I prayed twice a day
With incense, water and flowers
For the heavens to drop
A thick noose
Knotted with sudden stars
With the moon for an audience
To witness my escape
From this Chakravyuh ©

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Notes on a beloved friend

I narrated one night
a story of mine
over the sound of storm
brewing the night
breaking the soft limbed frangipani

You kept not
Buried under layers
of that stormy night
the story of my heart
deep in yours
You sang my songs of anguish
of sepia tinted evenings
You narrated my tears of ecstasy
in stories of amusement
You dragged from beneath layers of blankets
tales as deep as my slumber

Only my companion in pain
Distilled those tales
With the soft melody of her voice
And dyed me with her fragrance ©

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


_was the solitary podon
amongst the dark fumes
lighting up the tattered notes
exchanged in the keithel

_was the multitude of wrinkles
amongst the frown
creased deep into the farmer's face
watching the horizon
for pregnant clouds

_was the expanse of sky
distant and silent
after a piercing cry
when the ordeal was over
and they left
one by one
in a singular satiated grin ©

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My lover, browned with sun

I met my lover
creased with life
smelling of worries
amongst loss
amongst departing summer

I met my lover
after september
and spring bursted suddenly
from the east
with purple sweet pea
in his vein
with thabal lei in his breath

My lover left
But will be back
browned with sun
chapped with wind
will bring fire and woods
will bring sun and spices
and a few more creases around his eyes
and a few more creases around his smile

My lover will come
and forgive me my friend
if I start believing in god again ©

Friday, November 20, 2009

The tulsi of my courtyard ©

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My tanned lover

On such immense evenings
When poetry denies me
its words, its rhythm
With a whimper I recoil back
Envious of the words on your lips
Envious of the words on your pages
I go back to my wooden book rack
Bought on impulse
with my lover
one autumn dusk
It was the color of my lover
Tanned with the Newar sun
He had age behind him
I cling to his anecdotes
I have life ahead of me
He clings to my laughter

On such immense evenings
When poetry denies me
its words, its rhythm
I read the lines on his face
I read the map on his back
I knew he was an endless poem
The rhythm of Beas Kund
I had emptiness behind me
He clings to my anecdotes
He had happiness ahead of him
I cling to his heady brew

On such immense evenings
When poetry denies me
its words, its rhythm
I deny poetry my pen
And I read my lover with my hands ©

To Shreema

We struggle
within ropes
plaited by known hands
silent feelings
from deep crevices
Tears from inner wells
had long dried
Happiness a fear fleeting
Sadness a comfort
To dwell in its perpetuity
While they
set forth in their journey
to discover
truths and self
You and I
journeyed within
for wombs of words
and verses
To discover
That dwells within ©

Without you ©

Tuesday, November 17, 2009



Silent sepia of dusk

The day went off to die
behind the silent sepia of dusk
behind the fireflies in the fields
The un-awaited chronology
arrived yet again
solemnly announced by ominous thunders
Along with the small hours of the night
Plunging onto the tarmac
Plunging into the drain
dripping with wind
bringing the nostalgic scent of earth

I gazed at a spent rainbow called yesterday
streaming down my window pane
I sailed my little white paper boats
shaped from a hastily folded letter of love
I saw it browned by mud
singularly navigating polythene bags and pebbles
sailing into the heart of the liquid ocean of the sky
Unaware of the silver dagger of lightning ©

Monday, November 16, 2009


Just a whiff remains
of your sweat
besides my pillow
where you wept in ecstasy

Just a strand remains
tangled amongst my fingers
which ruffled tenderly
dark clouds of new moon

Just a moan remains
of your voice
bleeding amongst wounds
raging amongst fires
muffled amongst kisses
honeyed amongst songs
salted amongst tears
Leafless in autumn
And naked in winter ©

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Lets play
A game
Your state and my corporation
Weld them
To force minerals
Out of rivers
To force Bauxite
Out of hills
To force timbre
Out of forests

Lets play
A game
Your words and mine
To force people
Out of homes
To force farmers
Out of fields

Let’s play
A game
On this checked chessboard
Let’s stake the lands
and the tutelary deities
Let the river run dry
To quench our thirst
Let the mountains spew gold
To satiate our hunger
And when the earth is squeezed dry
Let us stake the universe
And the planets ©

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ema's tender hands

Ema’s tender hands
Weary of
Creating flowers
One day
Grew barbwires
from her slender fingers

Friday, October 9, 2009

I am in a hurry

I long for the fluid escape of poetry
I am in a hurry
for death comes creeping in a premonition-
a nightmare of fallen teeth and newborn
remembered at the end of the day
forced by dark clouds of rain soaked evenings

I wake from a siesta
to feel the inevitable night
falling relentlessly
in tormenting drops of nostalgia
dispersing my antique trunk of memories

While with droplets of dried turquoise blue on its nip
my pen collapse in a slumber
at the shore of soft white expanse
dreaming to chart its course
and leave residues of blue waves

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Colours of Retreating Monsoon


Monday, September 28, 2009

Green Grass of Home ©

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nambul turel

It flowed
In darkness
of deep nights

Descending into the deserted city
of porous amnesia
Raindrops slither un-willing
its crystal droplets
to merge with
the monochrome of dark liquid leftovers

We discarded the fluid waste
and threw away
the dried crumbling bunch of forgotten roses
whose stench had no memory
of red fragrance of love

We washed away ages of delusion
and brought in a new river
that echoes of meandering sparkles
And it rained crystals that night ©

For Mawmi... for the optimism she gives me and most importantly for loving herself and teaching me to love me

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Daily insanity

Morning begin
with the anticipated surprise
of daily deaths

Afternoon a stroll
to an ocean without a shore
where broken boats of hope
row away in little ripples

With dusk
the drunken poets came
Afflicted by a strange epidemic of optimism
Brought forth by bouts of nostalgia

When the insipid evening arrived
like a hermit with vows of poverty
I find insomniac soul
gazing wistfully at the end
of a graceful coil of a twisted rope ©

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time ©

He left

Our conversations
over static telephone lines
with uncomfortable silences
dwindled and died in bittersweet emptiness
Like the mountain ebony of October
leaving a trail of woody scent
with its dying white blooms
But it will be
forever an eternal September to me
creeping like a silent fever
On nights dark and moonless
reaching out to me in its nocturnal sorrow
While the long and forlorn shadows of August
falls in little sprinkles on my bed ©

Autumn ©

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I am beginning
to forget
the taste of your lips
the salt of your skin
your face of blissful anguish

I am beginning
to forget
the tarmac of your roads,
the sweet of your rains,
the moon of your clear skies

I am beginning
to run
from the grip of your embrace,
from your heady thunder,
from your patriots,
and your numerous lovers

I am beginning
to chase you
from the altar I built,
from the idols I installed,
from the tulsi of my courtyard

I am beginning
to pray for another chain.. ©

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Evening hung
above street lamps
with nocturnal insects
drawn to light
Like fishermen flinging an empty net
over the vast Loktak

The day ceased
in its abject silence
The earth accumulates
dirt, dust and decay
Nambul turel's open drain
slithers lazily
Sad silver fishes
suffocated by sewage
Floats back to immense emptiness

The night accumulates
Like age on wrinkled skin
Like rust on humid chains
A barb wire of hope
Threatens into skin
of clasp palms
of hurt soles
Trying to break free ©


On a blank blackboard
I wrote
Without words
I wrote
With the duster
In swift motions
Before the army of words
Siege my bare fortress
From where
I barred words,

I fight the urge
to devour words
And surrender
In its green and graceful
like wriggles
of a woolly caterpillar
lost among the green leaves
taking its miniature mouthfuls

After my forty days exile
I set out
To binge
on words
I found none
I found instead
The silence of departure ©

Friday, August 14, 2009

15th August

The city of the day was peeled off
The city of the night emerged
At around midnight outstretched on the pavements
The long winding endless tarmac
Bringing memories of
A brook that flowed
Someplace called home
The breeze
Emanating the days’ heat
Along with stench of urine
Betel nut stained pavement
With slabs of stubborn mucous
Forced from unwilling throats
I make my bed

And then the grand day arrived
15th August
Where we
An eyesore to be
Concealed from view
Horded together
We of innumerable feet
-all feet and walking ceaselessly
We of innumerable hands
-all hands tirelessly toiling
In utter silence of centuries
Disappear with the receding shadows ©

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Name

You who visit me
In the dead of the night
Away from prying eyes

To close the day
And open tender folds of moonlight

To remember another
In a faraway land

To close hurt
By inflicting me with fresh stabs

You who visit me
With numerous feet
Disappear at dawn
Leave footprints and money
to be blown away soon
By October's wind
I, whom you visit
Called by numerous names
And you of numerous feet
Have no name ©

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I implore:
Wash me
with the salt of the ocean
wash my wound
of eroded peripheries

I implore:
Drench me
with sweet rain
to contain within
in little puddles
a vision of nectar

I implore:
Hoist flags of torn rags
at my shore
and escape
the horror of listening
to the expanse of your soul

I implore:
and I will cleanse my shore
of your footsteps
with the salt of the ocean ©

Monday, July 27, 2009


The room
In its sad aura
Looked smaller
Outside the window
the trees didn’t touch the sky
the pukri didn’t overwhelm with its depth

the green tulsi
like an ancestral
demand attention
of morning and evening scent
and I with my habitual reverence
muttered an ancient chant

the moon appeared still the same
the hunchback moon
the stars still the same
stuck in time
stuck in the expanse
of nothingness

Only the wind whispered
a different tune ©

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sky ©





You and I
And the burden
of memories
that crept pass by us
silently on soft padded paws
Left us
With a clenched fist
of want and regret

You and I
And the burden
of conspiracies
that life unravels
Silently on yellowed autumn wind
Left us
With an incredulous fable
of friends and foes

You and I
And the burden
of nostalgia
that brings back
moist inhibited kisses
Left us
With sad solitude
of demised love

You and I
And the promise
of dreams
that we carve
from dusk
that fall
in the echoing darkness of a well
In that depth
We sought each other
You and I

Monday, July 20, 2009

You left

I am glad you left
with your brown dreams
of Africa
When the earth
was still brown
in a land
That moulded clay
to give you flesh
That rained
to give you blood
The tears
that was your salt

I am glad you left
with your brown dreams
of Africa
The earth
is now green
I have watered
the gnarled and antique frangipani
It now smiles back at me
with the sun captured in its palm

I am glad you left
with your brown dreams
of Africa
to take your share
and gouge out
eyes and minerals

I am glad you left
And I pray
Please do not return

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Why love at all
If you can only love
At uncertain hours
Trying to strech
stolen moments to infinity

Why love at all
If it can only
exist in an axis
of time and space
hoving like an uncertain
leftover moon

Why love at all
If we have to hide
When the night
collapsed into the day
amongst the chaotic cries
of nocturnal insects

Why love
In some tedious rhythm
Fatigued by lies

Why love
against the borrowed rain
and borrowed sun
merging elsewhere
to create a rainbow

Why love
from a distance
like the haunting shadows of rhythm
of a faraway laiharaoba

Why love
If you have to depart
at the end of each day
Against the grainy evening

Monday, July 13, 2009


I can no longer provide
the pleasure of plunging
into my soul
and twisting the emptiness within
like strands of solitary entrails

I can no longer
be a vacuum
or a palpable matter
of a strange kind
mutated to accommodate
all that you demand of me

I can no longer
be a sponge
and absorb
blue bruises
and discoloured sperms

The handle is in your grasp
You can still penetrate deeper inside
with your cold steel blades
But my being has overflowed
Oozing out a dark liquid
And I am
As cold as your steel blades

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


In you I see fragments
To write and write again
Lines like the furrows
where farmers plough
To plant seeds of steel
Breaking open your bosom
With spades of iron
To bring forth rains of steel

In you I see fragments
To weep and weep again
To rejoin the weeping river
That resembles a drying drain
Carrying with you the stench of the city
by the grand Bazaar

In you I see fragments
Of hungry souls
Where fire died
from hearths
to kindle in hearts

In you I see
Fragments and only fragments
The whole departed
And so will the fragments

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Join Magazine Secy.

In red
Deep left red
On the straw stuffed mud wall
He wrote:
Join RPF
Crossed it out
and wrote KYKL
The last
A hasty scribble
A witty retort
when in
advertising thus
for Kangleipak
A patrolling van's headlights
Shone on the mud wall
And he perched
Nailed between
the black sorok nalla and the mud wall
Cornered thus
He wrote in red:
Join Magazine Secy

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remains of the day

My last evening in L 79 A, Malviya Nagar; after 2 years of joy and sorrow. The view from the balcony says it all... Good things come to an end for better things to happen. ©

His and Hers ©

Friday, June 12, 2009

I died a little

I died a little
Killed by impure little droplets
Though there were celebrations
The stained cloth
Became my flag
I was congratulated
For reasons I knew not
My mother said
I was now a complete woman

I died a
Killed by impure little droplets
He celebrated
Being the first
That became his flag
Worn proudly around his neck

I died a little
Killed by impure little droplets
That refused to trickle
On the wedding night
His disappointment
Inscribed upon doors without eyes
The cold door knob
Refused to shake hands with me
Wooden, opaque, unseeing
And it slammed against the shivering frame.

*For shree, chao for inspiring me, encouraging me and for arguing with me ©

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To the Researcher

Write me love
Write me a companion
In that questionnaire you brought
Write me food, with salt and pepper and turmeric
But don’t come empty handed
Just to fill up your pages

I gave you tea sweetened with sugar from my neighbours’
I gave you tea sweetened with milk from my master
Yet you come just to take
A little more than what I give
Tell me
What do you write
In that pages of yours
Do you write of my suffering?
Does it make a good story?
Does it say I need everything
that everyone else need?
Does it say I suffer everything
And I pray no one suffers the same?
Does it say my village is parched,
That my river runs and find its way in your water taps?
That my earth produces and finds its way in your kitchen?

Tell me, Tell me
Talk to me for a while
Not just of your questions
Tell me
What lies beyond these fences of mine?
I haven't been on my feet for awhile
Listen to me
Even if they are not answers to your questions
I want to talk about
Purple skies of my youth
Though all that I have now
Is yellow winter
And you - my only visitor this year ©

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

His and hers

A bigger face
A bigger strap
a smaller face
a smaller strap
For thick muscular hands
for thin slender arms
They said its god-given
Big things for man
small things for woman
Titan had wrapped them up
With velvetty cloth
perfect wedding gifts
His and hers

A bigger hand
Harder slap
leaving bluish purple marks
You get accustomed to.

Slender hands
To be wrung about helplessly
To welcome
a burn here, a cut there
As one her kind
Should get accustomed to.

And all these came
Packed in a golden box with velvet inside
The sturdy-ness of his, the softness of hers
Wrapped in skin and bones
Perfect gifts
for Humankind

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Green and yellow buses

With bloodshot eyes
he rubbed wildly against
the shoulders of an old lady
with a hollow cough
bend with age
Oblivious of me and the crowd
collected together into a sweaty mass
in those green and yellow buses
with a uniform thought of reaching a warm home

I smirked, I stared
He went on his singular mission
suppressing his animal grunts.
The bus screeched to a stop
A bunch of fragrant white flowers
Undone from the lady’s coiled grey bun
Lie trampled by innumerable feet
He broke into a lazy smile
Watching the world
Through a dirty panel of glass
Streaked with vomit
And ancient spat of betel nut juice
Extracted by tired mechanical jaws

I took home
A repulsive feeling of disgust
And bathe for an hour
Willing the crystal water
To cleanse those dirty window panes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Malarial Monsoon

Drenched by cloudburst at dawn
The sudden coldness
Of shivering malarial fever
He continuesPlotting a sweet revenge
Of acts committed
Seven generations hence
Crimson stories
Wrapped with fury
Stewed with each succeeding breed
Begetting a decade of pillage and plunder
Under the weeping heavens
The gray desolate hills watches
His daughter leave
With backward glances
The gray desolate hills watches
Her brothers buying her
And she sells herself
In little morsels

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Five-days' untouchable

Is this blood of life
Merely to mark me impure
For Genesis says
I am not a creator, but created
Created from a man

For five days
Quarantined from the rest
By this unholy fluid
Wrapped with untouchable phanek
Phanek after Phanek
Carrying my untouchable-ness
Accused piece of cloth
Contaminated for a lifetime

Neither nocturnal tryst nor daytime assault
Defile the hands that tore it away
Yet lying apart from me
In the pale weatherbeaten bamboo polankhok
He watched the muga fabric
Soak up the rain
Droplets after droplets

[For Shreema and Chaoba and all the evening talks- anger, laughter, coffee and other stuffs .. Hoping for more such days to come]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Houdong Lamboiba

Ascetic cat in ochre robe
He is holy, he has given up ngari
Though in the night he is seen
Drinking blood from wine glass
At the Mantri's party

Morning he stands and judge
Our every deed
I saw him in I.S. TV
Chopping a mother's tresses
Mother's face swollen blue
She hid behind worn out hands
Smaller crooks he can't stand
Bigger ones are his friend

Ascetic cat heard the news
Preying has taught him patience, he waits
For him to be released
Or to be found dead and discarded
The body was found
We stood in 2- minutes' silence
Tharet Makhai news read out
Organisations condemning the killing
The list ran 5-minutes' long

The righteousness of chopping
A mothers' tresses
Burning a father's wine shop
All disappeared
Ascetic cat stood lamely and says-
Marileinaba authority-na thigatpiyu
Surrendering the 'case' to 'concerned authority'
Smaller crooks he can't stand
Bigger ones are his friend
He has exchanged his ochre robes
For a neta's suit
Concealing his black heart
Under a white coat

Thursday, March 5, 2009

For the dead and the discarded

Easy to blame
And hard to understand
Words pour so does tears
When we see your smile
Assembled together

With stubborn cries
Men and women gather
Outraged by the battle of love and hate
on your face;
To think they entertain themselves
taking you apart piece by piece;
To thinkyour blood amuses them…
One eye luminous with love
Another blinded by hate
Crushed crucified discarded
For you we congregate
Yet we can offer
Not fire to extinguish
All that you bore
Nor earth to bury
all that you have borne


It began with a drizzle
We try to sight the moon
Our mini-panek held gingerely with printed joypur
Near the fire of dried straw crackling up the evening sky
The yellowed mass of an afternoon's effort
billowing into the thin air
Tinging the evening with blue smoke

The aftermath four days
Succumbing into riots of colours and assault
Creeping beneath skin
Bluish bruises of transgression
Trespassing my innocence

Water pistols resembling giant member
Sprinkling hues of spring
Droplets streaming from my palm towards my elbow
Drenched coloured clothes clinged on
Tearing them from my body
I found my skin stained a nameless hue

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Lavender sky
Before the gold
Then the deep impenetrable evenings
Warm glow from houses
Sends a shiver down my spine
I returned- to a dark house
Waiting for me
In the dark inkiness I waited
September came and left
I waited on Partaking shivering cold dinner
in my bed.

Time indifferent of me
ticked endlessly
Each morning I strike off a day
In the Manipuri- English calendar
Tattered during transit
The calendar showing thasi and purnima;
when not to travel north
I gazed at the calendar
Hoping to revive-
An acoustic memory
Of footsteps against wooden staircase
A soft thud and the sound ascending
Hesitating, a tense lingering silence
A footstep that stops to knock
Stops at my door.

I, Icon

Droplets of Carbonic acid
Clears the fume laden sky for awhile
Smog hangs in the air like a feeble verse
While they transgressed me in a diabolic rhythm
With a strange memory-less nostalgia
I wept at the putrid smell of flesh and fluid
Staring at the mouldy leaves
Amongst which I was cast away

I once had a name
Now I stand mutated by pride and pain
Amidst the acid rain
My tears became raging flames
The self no more me
Yet my pain, they say, is my triumph
Now I am put up for display
Cemented on a pedestal
The icon of womanhood
Covered with pigeon's droppings in a park.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Deer Park

And it was at that age...Poetry arrived in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where it came from, from winter or a river.... -Neruda

Monday, March 2, 2009


The Health Minister was travelling to Grihang to inaugurate a Health Sub Centre. Grihang (in Ukhrul) has not seen one for the last 3 decades. The Minister and his assortment of guards showered everyone with a layer of dust..especially neatly dressed children walking on the road.

Memories of another day

Pictures of home; Ingkhon, pukri, - pure nostalgia