Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Remember...

I remember…

My windowpane, overlooking the slum,

The huge slum spread across seven lanes.

The huge brick wall built between my house and theirs.

The crazy boys trying to jump the lanes,

Peep into my world of privacy and happiness.

I remember the constructed difference slapped onto my feelings.

I remember…

Listening to Jimmy’s heavy baritone voice over the midnight radio.

The power he had in his voice to woo the women.

His calm and witty advice,

To the innumerable couples

Plaguing him with their problems.

I, remember being worried for him,

Over millions of signals across the phone,

Wondering how his girlfriend

Would be missing him so much,

Because of these nightlong shows,

Every weekend.

I remember him to be

The young Xavier’s College

Mass communication graduate,

And how I copiously cried overnight,

When I found out his age.

I remember…

The VCR,

The amazing Lion King and Alladin Videos,

I saw on it.

How amazing Walt Disney

Looked to me.

How desperately,

I wanted to visit Disney Land,

When my cousin from America,

Would harp about its grandeur.

I remember…

Elton John singing ‘Candle in the Wind’

When Diana died.

His fair fingers touching the piano keys,

And his eyes swelling up,

With the notes he hit.

I remember…


With my eyes closed,

In front of

Mother Teresa’s lifeless body.

For the first time,

I thought the world would STOP,

And all the GOOD things,

Will cease to exist.

I remember…

Singing with Madonna,

When she stood at the balcony,

In front of a crowd-less crowd,

In the movie Evita,

Singing ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’.

I remember…

The one last breath

Of my Grandmother.

I remember…

The tear,

At the corner

Of my eye,

Waiting to drop

When I hugged

Him tight,

And said


I remember…



In the middle

Of the Lakshadweep sea,

During my first

Banana Boat Ride.

I remember…



My balcony,

And the skyline,

Of the City,

In which

I grew.



And never wanted to


I remember…


Trying to calm down Ma,

And Dada.

When words were spurted

Like hot coal,

And there was no difference

Between Parent and foe.

I Do Not Remember My Country

I do not remember my Country

Yet I live in it,

I do not remember Kargil

Yet I tolerated it,

When my best friend’s dad

Was shot dead

In the middle

Of snowy white glaciers

On an unknown peak.

I do not remember paying,

Two rupee to the beggar,

Smiling toothlessly,

Across the yellow-black taxi gate.


I remember the toothless smile,

Of the flower seller at Dadar West.

Her radiant eyes,

When quintals of pink lotuses,

Were picked instantly to buy.

I do not remember when

'I Love India' T-shirts came to the market,

I didn’t really care,

I didn’t want to share,

My feelings of love,

Or hate about this Nation,

About which I really cared.

I do not remember when

Sonia Gandhi single handedly,

Pulled Congress back to its glorious position.

But I do remember Vajpayee’s concern,

About BJP’s secularism.

I do not remember when

My local market,

Started selling ‘American Pears’

And hilsa fish at six hundred per kg

Stuck, stamped and stickered

‘Export Quality’ across card board crates.


I remember the beautiful stamps

Of Gandhi, Subhash, Nehru…

And them being immortal

On letters sent across to Peru.

I do not remember when

Fair and Handsome

Entered the Indian Markets,

And promised to change

The skin colour of masses,

Muted Masses,

Who once found pride in

Their Asian Skin.

But I remember C.R.Y.

And all that it stood for

And how they used C.S.R

To build business and health

And save young lives.

I do not remember when

Babri Masjid was demolished,

Or what Anand Patwardhan said

About it.

Whether they were

Hindus or Muslims,

Who traveled from Ayodhya,

Or the local Masjids.


I do remember

Bal Thackeray’s grandson

Writing poems for peace.

I do not remember when

I lost the power to believe

In me,



Or the people who killed

Graham Staines mercilessly.

I do not remember when

My father went to Commonwealth Games,

To try his hand at public commentary,

And was rejected only because

His title sounded like a Sardarji.


I do remember

People holding candles,

And praying silently,

When Jessica was killed.

I think I want to remember

My Country,

With all its eccentricities.

Because if life is not a bed of roses,

Then how can my Country be?

She Came to Me...

She came to me,

Amidst a crowd,

Amidst a normal looking crowd.

No nail polish,

Only floaters.

No beer crates,

Only Cigarettes.

No Dior glares

Only black oiled hair.

She came to me,

The year,

Taslima Nasreen

Was boycotted from the State.

The colour Red,

Was fucked and smeared

Across the brick walls

Of Sonagachi Lanes.

She came to me,

At the slip of

A Uniball Eye UB-157 Black

On a textured, creamy, tissue paper

Kept next to a silver Mac.

I was having

A rum ball at Flurys,

Staring into your eyes,

The heavy teak wood chair,

At the Park Street Corner,


As I stomped away…


Away from you,

And walked towards the Metro

For miles.

You asked me a question,

That wintry December Day,

She does not develop your personality

Why are you so fuckin concerned

About Her anyway?

I refused to answer that question,

As I had answered it in my head,

I wrote Poetry,

Because Poetry was dead,




And the oily chicken roll,

In the narrow, dingy, Jadavpur Lane.

Poetry is a sucidal wish

Unless you are a film lyricist

I needed money,

So I entered his Goregaon office,

And I sat their stunned,

When He said this.

She came to me

Amidst a normal looking crowd,

Amidst black oily hair,

Black spectacles,

And drags shared.

She never deserted me,

She was always there,

But you disappeared,

Because you were scared.

You stared at me,

For changing place,

But I needed it,

I needed my space.

If I lost what I loved,

And did not weep,

You would think I am strong,


She would never marry me.

You flirted with me


And I did too,

To develop my personality.

I can look like a monkey,

After a thick milk shake,

And shop for the velvet black dress,

At the newest Vera Moda Outlet,

Publicly speak to masses,

And sip Vodka,

Just to taste,

And smoke cigarettes,

Just to blow,

Smoke rings in the air.

She came to me,

Amidst a normal looking crowd,

She lives with me now,

Transcending petty issues

Of class, religion and styles.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

They Still Came...

( Dedicated To C... for an unexpected poetry reading session at the lawns, with noise and birds chirping loudly and traffic noises all around )

I would have never allowed this,

Not when respect is being shredded

Like grated cheese.

No publicity,

No posters,

No emails,

No messages,

I am scared.

Scared of Her thoughts,

Scared of Her voice,

Trying to screech,

And maintain the rythym,

S C R E E C H.

Bird songs they said,

Adds to the value of the ambience,

But not the pieces,

Fragmented, disjointed pieces

Toiled in the hours of isolated existence,

Lovely existence…

Loveless existence.

1 .. 2… 13….. 17……19

I stopped counting.

They still came,

Came for Her Reading.


White, molten wax

Dripping deadly

On the soft skin

F L U S H …

The pink flush,

Over Her fair skin,

Under the golden light,

Exuded from Her inner being.

The incense stick,

Rooted in the soily stage,

Spread sacred aroma,

And opened the cage.

Birds chirped,

Traffic beeped,

She read Her pieces,

HER fragments and pieces,

With Her inner peace.

The pink flush,

Refused to go,

A silent vacuum

Engulfed me more and more.

Everyone around me

Broke their box,




Listened with silence,

And unspoken thoughts.

Her face,

Exuded a golden beam,

A real work of Art

Can stop habit and routine.

The distant noises faded away,

The world became closer,

As She read with eager,

And love for Her,

Filled the space.

I allowed this,

I respected this,

It did not look like strawberries

Or freshly whipped cream,

A real work of Art

Can stop habit and routine.


If you are trying to figure me out,

Please don’t.

Figures are to be measured,

And love is to be treasured,

Because the black armless boy,

Begs to differ,

And wants love,

In terms of figures.

But you try,

Still try to figure me out,

And shoo away the boy,

Staring at you,

With his hungry brown eyes,

Across the window,

Of your black spotless Limo.


You boxed me,

I boxed you,

Boxes are spaces,

Restricted places,




Instantly demarcated

By You.


Me too.

Why do you think

We are boxed?


We don’t talk.

But you greet me,

And I do too.

Can your box make space

For another to fit,

Without feeling innate?


I did not say mine.


Two boxes of equal size,

Cannot fit inside each other,

And survive.

One has to listen,

One has to speak,

One has to stuff,

One has to vomit,

One has to drink,

The other leak,

One has to reduce,

The other eat.

So as a way

For the two to co-exist,

Is to stay in the box,

The box made for thee.

Open the box,

Let me breathe,

I just came to look,

Not fit into it.

I hear a solution,

Suggested by you,

If one box becomes small,

Then with ease it can fit too.

Did I hear,

Hear you say,

Ordered me to make

My box small today?

Once, twice, thrice

I don’t remember figures

I have done it already,

And you still have not bothered.

What is the guarantee?

If I make my box small today

You will accommodate me.

I don’t need to fit,

I don’t need to squeeze,

I don’t need any more gurantees,

Like the Aquaguard water purifier

Leaking meekly,

Even under the

Lifetime warranty.

I will give you a suggestion,

You don’t have to follow,

Make your box larger,

Or have the guts to throw,


You or

The N2O.

The Scientist

When no one looks

I prance across

The infinite steps

Wrapped in

Red warm rum.

I am alone in this

Manly mansion,

Trying to earn a

Handsome sanction.

My world revolves around

Moons and stars

Rockets transcending

Earthly hours.

I spend long hours

Researching the globe

And wonder how huge

The macrocosm flows.

I love to be like this alone



Like Latifa glows.

The strong noises my boots make

Makes me want to dance today.

I keep your picture

Under my bed

Oh God! Almighty

Do not protect me today.

I want to be free

I want to dance

I don’t want to think

About all the science.

I don’t want to follow

Rules and steps

I just want to dance

Over the warm red velvet.

No clothes clad me

I am free,

To take you far,

Far away with me,

In the rocket

I specially

Built for thee.