Thursday, December 23, 2010

I wish not

I wish not for the raging flames
to engulf me into ashes ©

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Widow's drape

as black
as a widow's drape
will be my attire
Your ego
my attire
the colour of
wakching's frost
Black chandon from my nose
crawling up my forehead
Deep and dark
as long winters' night
I mourn your death
with my hueless life
My present smudged
by your absence
My lips unpolished
My hair locked
in a bun
Malacious whispers
welcome my arrival
at dusk
They grudge me
a thambal leikhok
Framed forever
in a monochrome
At every feast
the serpent streets
scorns me
an ice cold marble reception ©

Friday, November 12, 2010

sunrise sunset ©

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ode to my book rack

The book rack was between amber and brown, between fire and earth. The rich dark chocolate of dusk had set in when we got it. A wave of dust had colored the wood with a layer everywhere and we had taken contemplative miniature steps from a shop to the other –feeling every wood, seasoned or un-aged, we had knocked on the planks, on doors that you can walk around. Finally, we had rested our eyes on you. We had looked at you feet to the brim, heavy and bright, our fingers had brushed against you. You left an oval of dirt on our fingertips. I didn’t taste you but I knew you were salty, a fruit that the seas of my emotion had chosen. Now, I will discard you for I am as room-less as you. You and I were destitute of the night. Standing against the wall of the house, opening to me like a mouthful of kisses I had mourned and perished and grew with the books in your bosom. I now asked your leave, where would I leave you? He, filled to the brim, doesn’t have room. I would not have wanted the swollen sketch to look at you with her sneer. He has racks and racks. Mine- you, would be mundane. Naked in your skin I will dismantle you slowly. Take down books of poetry and prose, books clothed in their glory jackets and books almost naked and threadbare. I wish I could depart with you, to another life but for now I kill you, with pain that stabs me when I stab you. I will punch you and bleed my knuckles over you. On rare days of crisp sunny winters you and I will share our coffee, we will leave coffee mug stains on the floor – a circle like a ring, a circle akin to handcuffs you’d think. Sometimes a house lizard will run over you leaving padded footsteps marked in dust. Your death will reduce to ashes and the wind will powder me with your gray remains. I will see your ghost with a glittering stream of autumn moonlight. I will lose my companion, who looked at me with his sorrowful gaze; who looked at me with his ocean eyes. I will lose my companion, who when I am back from my travels burst into a shower of spring. ©

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Love was... not love

I carried
the days’ demise
in fragments
of stars
I’d capture
from across the horizon
some dreams
to chase away
the nightmares
of your absence
October night
after the glory
and melancholy
of sudden evening showers
Love was
the scent
of the earth’s pores
Love was
a splinter
beneath my nails
Love was
the burden
of feeding
the flames of Andro ©

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The moon sometimes
crave the demon’s mouth
and yearns to be
swallowed whole
in its entirety ©

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dawn ©

Rooting for Neruda's Images

A brief review of “The Desire of Roots”, Robin Ngangom, Chandrabhaga Publications, Cuttack, 2006

There are many ways of exploring belongingness. Some do it by seeking the desire of roots. Others do it by identifying the 'otherness' in the desire. Robin Ngangom's The Desire of Roots still remains just a desire, a longing for the labyrinth terrain of the 'known' by the same roots. This desire of roots does not find the roots but creates new ones. Like the auxiliary roots descending from a canopy of branches belonging to an aged banyan tree. The roots in the air seek to unite with the mother roots beneath the earth, their home. These auxiliary roots become trunks which will again sprout roots from above. Reading Ngangom's collection of forty-eight poems, I am left thinking about these auxiliary roots and how they have been nurtured and fostered. In these poems, I find the familiarity of an aura and the scent I experienced when I first read Neruda in college.

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood---
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent

The poems in The Desire of Roots have uncanny affiliation to roots, both in terms of “the form and the essence”. More specifically with the Chilean poet's Sonnet VI: Lost in the forest, of Pablo Neruda's 'One Hundred Love Sonnets' or perhaps even the section from his collection 'Memorials of Isla Negra' (Memorial De Isla Negra), entitled, 'The Hunter after Roots'. One could perhaps see in Neruda and his poems a situation of being in touch with blood, in touch with the despair experienced by his country. It might not be preposterous to see if Ngangom sees in Neruda a mentor, both being in turbulent times of history of their respective places.

The desire of roots as the name suggest indeed tries to seek the roots, whether in remembering Pacha and his lonely end or evoking the imageries of places like Tura (Garo Hills), Laitumkhrah (Shillong) in Meghalaya. The collection of poetry under two headings- ‘The book of lusts’ and ‘Subjects and objects’ is based on an imagery of friends, revolutions and “goodbyes” as distinct from farewells. A poem in the first section immediately reminded me of Neruda’s La Poesía (Poetry, translated by Alastair Reid) not only because both share the same title but also because of a continuity in the ideas expressed in both. In Neruda’s ‘La Poesía’ poetry comes searching for the poet “And it was that age …poetry arrived/in search of me” whereas in Ngangom’s ‘Poetry’ the character in the poem stands out like a protagonist in a play. As poetry resides within, he/she wishes to express and let the ‘gnarled men and wrinkled women....” know “...what matters if I can’t explain to them’. Other titles also could be seen as belonging to a spectrum of ideas that can be seen as either “continuity or an inspiration”. Neruda’s ‘I explain a few things’ from his Residence on earth, (Residencia en la tierra, 1925-1945) can be interestingly juxtaposed with ‘I am unable to explain’. In the former, Neruda explains or seeks to do so the reasons his poetry talks neither of lilacs nor of dreams but rather of bonfires devouring humans and the latter where Ngangom tries to explain to his daughter about ‘war of freedom or liberation’. One cannot help but also compare Ngangom with Neruda, wherein both not only gives a slice of pastoral life but also refer to the cyclical chronology of events; of history. Neruda talks about history that “passes in its carriage, collecting its shrouds and medals, and passes” and Ngangom’s “ossuaries of natives and masters as the old herald a new history/ not knowing why they merely repeat themselves”. One may also find resonances of themes and ideas as in Neruda's, “I explain a few things”,where the lines..

“You will ask why doesn’t his poetry
Speak to us of dreams, of leaves
Of the great volcanoes of his native land

Come and see the blood in the streets
Come and see the blood in the streets”,

The last poem in the Ngangom’s collection ‘Last words’ where lines that seem to emanate the same idea appears as...

“They whispered among themselves
How come his poetry is riddled with bullets then?
So I said:
I wanted my poem to exude a heady odour
But only the sweet taint of blood or burning flesh emanates from my poem.”

It is not surprising then that the second and last section of the collection -‘subject and objects’ quotes from Neruda ‘When the rice withdraws from the earth/the grains of its flour/ when the wheat hardens its little hip joints and lift its face/ of a thousand hands/I make my way to the grove where the woman and the man embrace…’
Akin to Neruda who sought inspiration from the everyday things like artichoke and his green heart, it is heartening to read Ngamgom drawing another tangent from oils and lentils evoking the political situation in the uncertainty of its availability in the stores which he effortlessly does so in a poem in this section, “The strange affair of Robin S Ngamgom”. He did have his last words in the last poem of the book, “Last words”, when he wanted his poem “to fall like pebbles into a pool” but ended up breaking his “words on hostile surfaces”. However his last words too seem to be heavily influenced by poet/s from whom he sought his inspiration like Neruda who wishes for the rain to repeatedly splatter its words and hence his last words end not as his own but the words of many others who had wrote of their times and turmoil.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coffee and something

Sleep walking
through roads
dust were clouds
timeless were dreams
Each fabric
by textures
and touch
We eye
each bare
gaudy sequins
Envy green
the coffee table books
not read
but to be kept;
To be shown
Through dark wood
they weep
to be loved
once, for its soul

Blue tasseled curtains
someone’s dream
took wings
We were
burnt scent of coffee
and something
A store,
with books loved
for its soul
where evening flings
its net of music
We will
on a blue night
We will
our fistful of dreams ©

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Evening at the book shop

we inhaled
the still air
of the mouldy book shop
weighing every book
that passed
Through pathways
his star eyes
through words
shun between two covers
Each persisting scent
come seeking
our fingertips
some words
galloped into our palms
Each cramped corner
neighbour to words and dust
follow his eyes
Ivory of paper
yearns to live
in our lips, fingertips
Those left behind
we wouldn't know
their whereabouts ©

Monday, September 20, 2010

Medusa enchantress

My medusa enchantress
brought flowers
crimson red
Poetry wrapped
in music
her laughter of bells
deepen the evening blue
Swift flight
as an arrow
She rescues
a mouthful of those mouths
her skin of earth
she came clad
in smoky evening sand
lead me to your mazes
lead me through your riddles
leave me
in your goblet

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where should the birds fly after the last sky? ©

Where should we go after the last frontiers?
Where should the birds fly after the last sky?-
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air?
- Mahmoud Darwish

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My wayward sibling

My wayward sibling
Sudden in arrival
Abrupt in departure
Promptly came
on days hard as stone
my fistful of woes
I survived lovers’
To eternity
he took me
for rainwashed walks
He opened the day
to the scent of frangipani
Now he leaves
His goodbye
gnaws the evening ©

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Of Memories, Melancholy and the Milieu

Memories can fade as fast as freak snow flakes in summer or they just refuse to disappear like the gigantic Himalayas. Durable memories can either make one’s engagement with realities worthwhile or mar the future with devastating consequence. It has been over a month since I attended the Fifth Arambam Somorendra Memorial Lecture as a discussant on the 10th June 2010 at the Gandhi Memorial (GM) Hall, Imphal. All this while I have not stopped pondering over a great lecture delivered by Dr. Xonzoi Barbora, titled ‘Friends, Familiar Places and Melancholy: Life and Death in Northeast India’. It was not just the late visionary’s reputation that drew me to the event but also the continuous discursive engagement of the Arambam Somorendra Trust to generate debates on the issue of contemporary life and politics in Manipur and the Northeast.

The 10th of June lecture indeed gave a clear picture as to how we situate ourselves amidst violence, death and silence. Dr. Barbora succinctly delineated our engagements with the everyday-ness of violence and death and the consequent feelings of guilt and melancholy that engulf us all. He recounts his experiences with friends who are no more. He said, “We have become adept at writing obituaries in Northeast India. We write them at times when we are choking in guilt, or drowning in sorrow”. Listening to Dr. Barbora’s lecture made me ask this question; Is it this feeling of guilt and melancholy that constantly produces and reproduces strange acts of silence? Barbora's lecture or for that matters the act of writing for the dead falls between what we understand as “silence and protest”. Recounting familiar narratives and remembering the dead is one way of negotiating with existing realities. Hence, there is the need for stories to be told and retold even though they may be repetitive while simultaneously unique.

Dr. Barbora specifically recounted the lives of the late - Nilikesh Gogoi, Kabiranjan Saikia, Thingnam Kishan, U A Shimray and publicly unknown yet familiar friends who are no more. There is a need to understand narratives like these in order to witness our lives as well as the lives of friends and acquaintances. There is also the possibility that death itself might be too encompassing for lives to be remembered and articulated into spoken language. Perhaps there also exists a language of silence which speaks louder than words quite distinct from the act of indifference. Death and silence then become ominous and begin to reflect in our literature, visual and performing arts and become inscribed in landscape.

It then could also be said that melancholy is the landscape where lives are acted out, recounted and narrated and felt deeply through the act of narration. This could be the reason why (to quote Dr. Barbora) “our poets have been marshaled into writing pamphlets and our sloganeers have become poets”. However, there seems to be no contradiction in one oscillating between two beings – the poetic and the political. A symptom of an ephemeral confusion that has continued to haunt us for long has been the inability to make a clear distinction between binaries that have ruled the progression of human civilization – like the civic and the political as in poems and pamphlets.

I was particularly drawn to Dr. Barbora’s invocation of the idea of “hüzn” or “hüzün” to describe melancholy. Those of us who are familiar with Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul Memories of a City know that line by Ahmet Rahim – “The beauty of a landscape resides in its melancholy” writ on the page after the dedication. Dr.Barbora had perhaps got more from Pamuk’s description of “hüzün” or “huzn”, the Turkish synonym for melancholy. One of the descriptions Pamuk gave was: “…the spiritual anguish we feel because we cannot be close enough to Allah, because we cannot do enough for Allah in this world.” The reference to the “Almighty” here can be taken as a deeper “inability” by all of us to accomplish the set tasks before us. Interestingly, it can be the absence of “hüzün” which can cause even more distress. This seems to indicate that there can be another type of melancholy – the melancholy that one feels because one has not been melancholic enough.

Melancholy evokes memories. The trepidation with memories is that memories can go back a few thousand years which can veer towards an imagined presence of the past, be it either tragedy or glory. The question that haunts us in the present is: What kind of memories do we need to keep alive to make sense of the present? What has a “unique” vengeful memory or a “glorious civilizational” memory got to do with a collective “poetic and political” future? These are rather questions and not answers that we have to keep engaging with. Dr. Barbora said, “…all of us here know what food is cooked in the hills, just as surely as they know what is fermenting in our iromba. This is what makes us different from the rest of the world! ”. This is a good literary trope to examine “ourselves” vis-à-vis the idea of “collectivity” and “exclusivity”, between “the raw and the cooked”, and also between “the fresh and the fermented” over the hills and the valleys in the Northeast. Dr. Barbora gave us enough “cooked and uncooked” food for thought. Cooked, because he addressed the primacy of “feelings” over the meta-narrative of the “self”. Uncooked, because some of his ideas may be “raw” for many of us in the Northeast and the milieu we live in.

This review was published in The Imphal Free Press on 11th of July 2010 ©

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You were not tied

as a pearl
Exceedingly ugly
I was
Of sentimentality
I wove knots
crafting a noose
to tie him down
and dried
wavered him
no more
Dried and shrivelled
me a thorn
or a block of ice
hard and glassy
Summer scorched
I bloomed a rose
I escaped
from you
from knots and noose
in a scent
You were not tied
I was free ©

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Centering the Periphery while falling off the Map

“Peripheral Centre: The Voices from India`s Northeast”
edited by Preeti Gill, published by Zubaan Books, 2010, New Delhi, Rs.595

One of the many ways of knowledge and information production has been the purposeful interaction between the observer and the observed. Whether the observer is an ‘insider or outsider’ has been largely decided by his/her geographical or ideological location. Related to this debate is the question: who produces authentic knowledge or information? Most answers have more or less been centered on the ‘credibility’ of the producer rather than where the producer is located – inside or outside. The book “Peripheral Centre: The Voices from India’s Northeast” skillfully edited by Preeti Gill takes cognizance of this debate which has been often been overlooked. This book is one amongst the growing corpus of information on the ‘Northeast’ – a bunch of serious thoughts, both by those called ‘insiders’ as well as the ‘outsiders’.

The collection of writings in this book suggest that knowledge and information production of and on the ‘Northeast’ have been necessitated by the imperatives of exploring possible resolutions to decades old issues. Going through the writings throws up layers of murky contractual interests of the ‘state’ vis-à-vis the collective interests and struggles of the people. The “Peripheral Centre: The Voices from India's Northeast” published by Zubaan books has on its cover (both front and back) an image of spray paint and stencil graffiti of Irom Sharmila, seen in some roads and streets of Delhi. This image is akin to the image of the skull and crossbones, only the skull here is replaced by the face of Irom Sharmila. The elements from the original image when superimposed with that of Sharmila points to an ominous warning. What was the intention of this image creator is debatable while accepting the fact the same image has a potent function for the book.

The first title of this collection, “Peripheral Centre” immediately suggests a landscape which is at once a periphery – an edge, an outskirt while simultaneously being the principle point. While projecting the irrelevance of the periphery to the “main”, the addition of the “centre” renders a new meaning that seem to be part of a strategy to undo locational specificities. This does not however reduce the distance felt from all sides and directions. It is of course not devoid of certain nuances, that the periphery is with reference to something. Despite the claim that the book is “the gaze of the outsider”, there is an amalgamation of writings both by “outsiders” and “insiders”.

‘From a Reporter’s Dairy' by Rupa Chinai contends that the phenomenon of widespread drug abuse, especially in Nagaland and Manipur, is not to be seen as one stirred by aimless and disillusioned youth but rather from a perspective that points out the Sanjoy Hazarika’s piece ‘In Times of Conflict the Real Victims are Women’ tries to tackle a whole lot of issues starting from Nellie massacre in Assam to the present day sufferings and struggles of the women in the Northeast. While talking of the killing of Manorama Devi and subsequent protests launched by the women of Manipur, Hazarika seems to have overlooked that fact that it was not just another killing. His account comes closer to the version of the Assam Rifles. He forgets to mention that it was also not ‘just’ the single act of killing (indeed many are killed everyday for killings have become an everyday act) but also the ‘way’ she was allegedly raped and killed (gun shot wounds in the genitals). A lot of water has flown under the bridge since the Manorama episode. Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy Review Committee of which Hazarika was a member, proposed ‘a legal mechanism that will provide a framework for the armed forces to operate’ in conflict identified areas. But one is still wary of the old masquerading in the guise of new. Who will be deciding that it is indeed (in Hazarika’s own words) a case of emergency requiring intervention? What would be the forms of intervention? Or is he suggesting that everyday occurrences of rapes, molestation, intimidation are ‘mainly a record of the past’? It is also surprising that Hazarika is still trapped in the oft repeated rhetoric of women from the region enjoying high social, cultural and economic status. The women in this region may be slightly better than their counterparts in the rest of India but the essays from this collection and indeed voices from the women writers themselves point to the fact that all is not rosy within.

The editor is bang on target when she suggests that the region is a sort of a cusp, “old giving way to new”. One way to see this is to recognise the fact that it has indeed been difficult for the region, for that matters the whole of India, to cope up and come to terms with modern national institutional framework having skipped an organic shift. Part of the difficulties of these transitions are to some extent captured by Sanjeev Kakoty’s “Tree Sans Roots” as borders are incised and cartographic national frameworks are imposed upon the way of life. The multiplicity of authority – various forms and faces of the state, the non-state aspiring to be the state and building their system based on the military system of the state are discussed by Mamang Dai. In such a scenario the “Northeast” is not a periphery but a crucial centre that should remain a periphery to people’s imagination. Vijalakshmi Brara’s analysis of “Performance” as a gendered space would have been refreshing if she had gone beyond her novel idea of disempowerment. However, Brara is right in pointing out that more often than not women's performance gets relegated as ‘an end in itself’. No constructive or critical outcome is expected of the performance which can question the entire realm of the social. She withdraws after pointing to a new path which disempower her from further exploring for answers. Here, it is pertinent to note that what has often been termed as the “gaze” is definitely shifting towards participation, at least at the discursive level. The attempt to engage with the region is commendable. The variegated narratives in Peripheral Centre: The Voices
from India’s Northeast maps out a whole realm of complex issues that exist in a region clubbed together as the “Northeast”. However, one needs to accept the fact that this idea of mapping is still anchored to the nation building exercise of a democratic country. A poem by Mamang Dai used right in the beginning of the introduction, says Now, when we close our eyes, and cease to believe, god dies but the complexities in the Northeast may not.

This review was published in The Sangai Express on 25th of July 2010 ©

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Morning has come ©

Monday, July 19, 2010

When I say my wall... ©


Nameless you come
and leave
Our territories
not of blood
but nameless
and empty
another journey ©

Monday, July 12, 2010

Speaking in stone

My vocabulary
of mute lamentations
of lost speech
bend to pick
stones, sharp as life
against the conundrum
I wish to speak
in stones ©

Sunday, July 4, 2010


The morning papers
soaked with yesterdays’ rains
sank with its news
at my doorstep ©

Saturday, July 3, 2010


When visit me
would you come riding
a lightning of bullet?
Would you eat me up slowly
with mouth of gaping bed sores?
Would you run over me
driving a heavy-limbed sleepy truck?
Would you disperse
into my veins
leave me heavy lidded, intoxicated?
Would you leaked out
of a golden nip
wiry and coiled
enticing me with your words?
Would you come
wearing an attire of yellow sunset?
Would you come
draped in a hairy blanket?
Do come
dressed for the occasion
in the mysterious splendour
of night stars and noonday sun ©

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do not leave memories like these ©

Monday, June 28, 2010

Should I?

Shall I in a splash immerse myself
in the arms of an immense sea
and leave in my wake
a few ripples? ©

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Singular ©

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ode to my brother

We played
grace of the earth
by time
the contours
of our bodies agreed
that we were blind
to mazes
of skin and seduction
The pale evening
on our tea of red
the sun was a wedge of lemon
designing to sting
the dusk uttered its curses
The tea stained
kettle of steel
with its black eyes ©

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unasked for

Won’t you come

to watch the evening fall

Dark into my eyes

as I walk

pass your door

Unasked for

Unstopped by

You refused

to cast your nocturnal net

of wet kisses

cajole touches

I will no longer

die in your arms

unable to breathe in

your terrestrial air

I have untangled

myself from

intangible laces

of your fingers

kneading a dough

of my skin

Evening drowns

in to my eyes

Tries to catch

a star or two

Easily you execute

the night

decked up for you

with its many pearls ©

Friday, May 7, 2010


Lets quarter
it all
To each
her individual country
won't that be a fantasy
I would like
my own flag
sewing a colourful peice
from shirts I had overgrown
long ago ©

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another polish for my nails

promises and promises
give it a miss
Its unsure
you promised me the moon
and doted on my nails
the black stain of your promises
I live with the regret
yet another five years
Optimist that I am
you will find me yet again
lining up in the queue
amonsgt stones and dust
of the rumbling school
roofless from your promises
waiting for the stain
secretly folding your promises
sliding it down
the box of dreams of democracy
locked securely for another five years
is lies and lies and lies
Yet I beleived
like a love struck luckless lover
I wish i had chosen
another polish for my nails ©

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trivial details

left behind
such sorrows
and traces
the indifferent one
as if to perish
such commonplace scars
and trivial details
of love ©

Friday, April 23, 2010

Do not look back

Days upon days
piled up
and turn grey
on your hair
draw lines
around your eyes
Do not
Do not look
one decade back
Do not look back at all
says the myth
of Orpheus
of Lot
A pillar of salt
she was
those heavy lumps
of nostalgia
Let us begin
to collect
life's sour fruits
yet again ©

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


as usual
its only
that die
I count my fingers
for some friends
Some numbers
I too, seek
Some love
I beseech
As usual
one knocks
on closed doors ©

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Now, are you pleased?

With your door
so low
I have to come
crawling on
my knees
I am walking
on all fours
are your pleased?
In chains
I am dragged
Free me
I cry
I am the one
the jagged-teeth knife
in hand
I must kill
they taught
the layers
they painted
on me
I will melt
these windowless
icy walls
of love
of lust
your feverish
and you
will come
I will give in
no more
to promises
and sickly sweet
scented flowers
and glittering stones ©

Monday, April 5, 2010


Do not leave
traces like these-

fading morose
brown sun
on rough paper
of discoloured white
spilled spots
a certain wintry day
of thick brown tea

The warm scent
of your head
imprinted forever
on my yellowed pillow

The night
of jaundiced
blue moon
your scorching tongue
seeking my blanket mouth
to douse the flames
left a nick
on my lips ©

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The blackboard
of the nights' sky
where the crystal
studded chalks
draw their regular lines
They say
this is
where the day
sink into
the empty bowels
of the night
The forlorn moon
spy over
insomniac heartaches
The day filled
to the brim
would pour
out its dreams
and some tears
And the night
fall down
from the sky ©

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

....And we leave patches

What do I tell you
how it is
When from a distance
I watch the evening
dark and deep
into the arms of day
The sun recedes
in the deep embrace
of the brooding hills
Then you arrived
to divide up
our lot
Yours and mine
Divide up
How is it?
How do we
cut apart
this book
we wrote
with stars
and half a moon
How do we
Was it yours or mine?
A question
to my answer
An answer
to my question
Would the sun
wait not for dawn
Would the hills
wait not for dusk
What do I tell you
how it is
How do we
you in me
me in you
And we leave
of holes
what we wove
each carrying
a tattered bit
What do I ask now?
Would we seek
another loom
another thread?
or take our tattered bits
towards where
the brooding hills
embraces the sun ©

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


No pain
of loss
No angst
or pathos
The breeze
a scent
not even
a tattered
Not even
the scab
of an old wound ©

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The end

This is where
the road ends
of India shining
gives way
to gravel
and red dirt
of India whining
Red eyed lantern
with irregular wicks
cast their sorrowful gaze
the cables
the village
without stopping by
It would shine
in other places
Those islands of hope
a granary
of surplus
doesn't sow
but reaps
Oh how
it is?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Solely mine

lips to lips
like muzzle to muzzle
trace of voices
beneath bedspreads
of fickle affairs
A bad taste
in my mouth
I got used to
effortlessly traversed
from one to another
a tedious route
seeking myself
in many others
discovered a trace here
in her pain
encountered my fear
in his eyes
uncovered a trail
in her secrets
I stumbled upon
the zenith
of consummation
the loss
the liberation
solely mine ©

Thursday, March 4, 2010


He made me touch
green of the foliage
told me
its a camouflage
hunger and surplus
He grieved
his land called red
when it was
green in monsoon
yellow in autumn
His earth
a riot of colour
Red isn't one of them
he explained
He gave me flowers
like cotton
like clouds
like yellowed half of a pumpkin
like yellowed strands of straw
Red is something else
he said
and offered me berries
of scarlet
Red was the vermillion
on the women's forehead
Red the flowers
on her hair
not easily untangled
he told me
but Brown is it
he decided
the brown of hunger
the brown bark of unyielding earth
Red terror
the hysterical reporter
over the screen
Red is just
the Palash flowers
he wept
heaving his body
tattooed with Gond tales ©

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Do you?

Do you know
I sometimes
ridicule your freedom
When you wind your alarm
to begin tomorrow
Waking at its lousy bell
Adorning that jacket
polished shoes
ironed shirt et al
Didn't you
tell me
you are a farmer's son
Tell me
you are a farmer?
Carrying that phase
like a badge
repeating that tired phrase
A farmer
who measure
his days with milestones
A farmer
with no use for seasons
Rummage the soil
with your bare fingers
if you find your soul
I agree
you are free
free as the farmer
you wanted to be ©

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Bright, sublime ©

Monday, February 15, 2010


eyeless to my pain
a window
without a pane ©

Thursday, February 11, 2010

under your gaze
my lidless eyes
cannot close
against this
transparent captivity
of liquid incarceration
I did my bit
for those morsels
wriggled my fins
against some fake weeds
exhaling little bubbles
of amusement
In your vacuumed medium
you articulate freedom
had me in chains
for the colour of my scales ©

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oracle for the King

The thick dark seaweeds
of unlighted evenings
come crawling up
the husk of cigarette stained nights
Rapid puffs of offwhite
winter shower
like a relentless spurned lover
tediously follows
with its long strides
keep walking
without looking back
misfortune this year
cries the oracle
bright and prosperous
says the cards
rejoice the one
that ended
dread the one
that has begun
Let us ask
the Cheithaba
to take not
on his head
misfortunes of the throne
The people have suffered
now let the king
meet his certain destiny
brought forth by our curses and tears ©

Sunday, February 7, 2010

every visit
we seek that night
we came crawling
with laughter
drunk with caffeine
but drunk enough
with the heavy night
and secrets within
knowing yours
knowing mine
was all the same
we needed to steal
some smiles
in between
a menu card
provided us the cue
you were clutching it
with eyes of laughing tears
the evening rose
with our laughter
our love for the moon
will be to our doom
moonstruck tears
were sudden and swift
as secrets spill over
the bedspread of the night
spreading our sorrows
together with crystals
in our hands
we cupped and inhaled
the lemon and salt
of our wound
and we knew
every visit
we will seek this night ©

For chao, shree and that night in the coffee shop... for the tears of laughter, for more visits
BTW we still haven't returned their menu card :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I will take the leap

Just a peep

Is what I ask for

Into the beyond

Seconds of that image

Whether tongues of flame

Whether serenity of cold blue light

Whether nothing and nothing

Is the knowledge

I desire

to stab my womb

to stop my blood

From furthering itself

into oblivion

of the sole truth

and its multi fanged friends

My blood

My flesh

Let me stab you

Here itself

In the warmth

Of my fluid

Before life

And its many brutes

Play its games

Let me stab me

Stab me along with you

I will be with you

In the arms of beyond

Whether heaven and its precocious morality

Whether hell and its overwhelming temptation

Whether the erasure of nothingness

I will take the leap ©

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Truth slept soundly

The day curled up
at the yellowed edges
like a voraciously read book
and fear
spread evenly
with the blunt knife
of the night
Tired truth
slept soundly
in kumbhakarna's slumber ©

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Without words

I wish
I could
the way you do
or don't
With almost
a disdain
for expressions
my affections
as you do
to affectations
I wish
I could
without words
bereft of kisses
devoid of embraces ©

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

3 Haiku

Full moon of my home
brighter by far I tell them
load shedding they mocked


Nga chara ama
Interview da yengbiyu
Haina thillakhi


waiting for a word
but your pages remain blank
why friend, the silence


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And yet some others I met ©


Seeking an end

Is it some mere floors above?
Or perhaps at the graceful end
of a coiled rope?
Is it within the depth of a well
with its liquid blackness
calling out my name?
Is it next to the warm comfort of my bed
in a clear bottle that promises peaceful slumber?
Shall I choose the obscure hour of my birth
where the night and day met?
Shall I choose the music of raindrops
on the tin roof to bade me this farewell?
Shall I in a splash immerse myself
in the arms of an immense lake
and leave in my wake
a few ripples? ©

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Me ©

Baba ©

Ema ©

Sunday, January 10, 2010


when you recede
along with the tides
the litter sewn shore of my soul
looked at me like a gaping wound

the amber of fading afternoons
cast the longest solitary shadow
the fog of winter boils over the evening sky
like frigid lumps of latent milk
forced down throats of unwilling children
while some distract hunger for awhile
with mango kernel and tawdry strands of grasses ©


Call me no longer
to your reunions
I no longer
to that School of thought
All I remember
Is your concrete pretensions
Those structures
That cordone me off
That make me harbour
Feeling of superiority
Over vernacular mortals
I am still undoing
Those twisted knots
I am now glad
My hair has
The discipline
Of plaits
and ribbons
The factory line
of morning assembly
The raps
on my knuckles
The red grades
of lesser human
my report sported
each year
The hand-me-down
Patched and sewn
They pointed at
and mocked
The class within a prison
Of four walls
The teachers’ classes within a book
Bound by rigid covers
The class of sycophants
That chanted praises
Or curses
at her instigation
I’ve bade my byes
and buried them
by the laphu makhong
with my laiphadibi
with an appropriate funeral ©

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


This first drizzle of winter

Drops of crystal descend

merge with the street

to become this stubborn slush


on the tattered phanek

of the widowed valley

This mist of winter

Blinded by whiteness

The white cold seep through

From the bed of tarmac

Into the vagabond’s soul

A clueless poet

Tainted with love for verse

Heartbreak became a poem of winter

Gnawing through bones

Each word hang heavy

Like the bulky winters’ torn fabrics ©