Category Archives: At First look

At the Altar – Part 2

Her eyes are still open
Her head is hung low
Blood trickles along her eyebrow
While her eyes adjust to the blow.

His arms rise again,
Towards the speechless sky.
Plunging ahead with the axe,
He gives out a loud cry.

Through her numb,
Heavy head,
She wonders –
If she is already dead.

Satisfied, he leans against the altar,
To give his heart some rest.
And drops of his sweat fall into her tears,
Within the same bloody mess.

At the Altar

At the altar of love,
She offers herself.
He drops an axe,
Over her head.

The drop came –
Without a blink.
Did he even
Stop to think?

A shock to the body
A gap on the skin
A gush of blood
The slit bursting at its rim

The axe moves in deeper,
Not yet done with the body’s keeper.

And as he chopped he sang,
Hymns of a love so great –
That even the pieces of flesh that fell,
Clapped with thunder when they hit the plate.

Imposter in the Temple

Confident feet halt at the door
Whisper to the lucky Earth under
Was it really us that they chose
To witness such a wonder?

My storming heart
Pulls in its wings raging with latitude
Its wildness folds in on itself
As it kneels forward in gratitude

The feet,
They are yet to enter
Doubting themselves in the old world
Their human self in an internal welter

They stand hesitant,
At the entrance stairs
Exchanging concealed notes
Between their own pair

Even whilst the heart
Flutters with a thirst to know more
It glistens with the beauty of the moment
Letting go of the doubts it wore

The sun rays smile
As they nibble and nudge the back
They kiss the awakening skin
Helping the muscles within unpack

I step inside, just at the edge
Back against the boundary wall,
I begin to trace the periphery.
Slowly, sliding along.

Greedy eyes cannot resist
They look above, overfilled with the sight
Glued trembling lips –
Hold back the expression of delight

The magnanimous temple –
In a moment it brought out my internal thief
And in the next moment
It purged it all, putting the imposter at ease.

Black Coffee: A Love Story

Water stood with ease
Within the clear jar.
The ground coffee sat in its box
Not too far.

Water’s jar now uncapped
It is exposed, yet calm.
Whilst the coffee fresh and earthy
Pours confidently onto your palm.

Water shivers
Tries to hold on to its home
As it’s poured out mercilessly
Into the brewing dome.

Coffee, damn
She is an adventurous lass,
Jumps in to the machine
With all her sass.

With a jolt things move
The water is given a sign,
No time left to ponder
It moves ahead with time.

Drop by drop
With the cosy coffee it brews.
Together, they each lose their form
And become something new.

Both lost their original shape
True bonding meant losing self
As they lost themselves and held to the other,
They got a place of pride on every shelf.

Where this will lead
Water and beans cannot surmise.
On the vessels that they will embark,
Adventures un-tasted are about to arise.

The Princess of the Glass Castle

Part I
The princess of the glass castle wore a white dress,
Walked on stairs of glass and sat on a crystal mess.

Her dress shimmered of the silver and the stars.
The light in her eyes – anything but a farce.


Part II
I am scared my heel may scratch the floor;
When I walk, I am worried my dress might smash the door.

I can’t be natural, I can’t be free –
This castle is so staunch, I don’t think it feels me.

Everyone comes here to gape at it, majestic and tall,
Yet my words are barely a whisper, lest they scar the wall.
I can barely dance, every step is preceded by fear,
If I move too fast will I lose this castle, which I hold dear?


Part III
When she brushed a tear off of her eye,
There appeared a black mark under the perfectly blue sky.

She wore a fluid black and danced a spell of lust,
And the floor melted while the castle burned to dust.

Two opposite pendulums

That time they swung away with full force
Confident as they moved along their course
Did not turn back
Displayed no sign of remorse.

Another time forced to swing away and
Each holding out an outstretched hand
Only wanting to return
To what has seemed like home land.

They reach a stable height
And nature decides again to use its might
Makes them swing back to the centre
This time, as always, they meet in delight.

Time is passing
They will be at the centre only for a while
Will they decide to hold on
Or swing away leaving this thing divine?

Spring

The summer sun shines in my eye,
I wander out of my home for the rays otherwise shy;
The walls meet my palms with a rough handshake,
And the wind insists on brushing by.

You can see my eyes still shine,
And there is summer in my mind;
With one hand I work along the wall,
With the other I work on the railing three foot tall;
I pull a chair and use it as my ladder,
Simply to push myself a bit farther.

There is now winter in the arc of my feet,
That are cramped against the curved steel;
The spring has not reached a single bone,
Of my feet still numb with the winter cold.

The winter of my feet and the summer of my eyes,
Must indicate that spring is close by.

Now I am looking down
The length of the building,
And I stand on the railing
Against the wall unyielding.

While my heart pounds against my chest,
The breeze giggles and tries to calm;
I slowly detach from the wall –
A shivering, moist and fearful palm.

There is winter in my feet,
And summer in my eye,
It could be time for spring
To spring from the building to die, and fly.

Dance with me

“Hello”
“Hi-”
” how are you doing today?”
“I-”
“It’s a wonderful evening, wouldn’t you say”
“Yes, I -”
“I would love to hold your hand and dance all day”
“Really, why -”
“Oh I love you like crazy, now if I may?”
“Okay”

He holds her hand and takes her away
She steps with doubt and gently he makes her sway

They play in the background the song of the day
The crowd fades around her as he closes in to say..

Relax now my lady
I will hold you all the way

He glides with her across the floor
The corner of her eye is still at the door

She wants to escape and thinks of a way
Brushes her elbow by the glass laden tray

Yet he glides with her across the glass-strewn floor
Closes in on the distance a little bit more

“It’s crazy” she thinks
And finally joins in the dance

He twirls her away
And into his arms
Another lady from the aisle
He was just waiting for his chance

Firefly Moments

July, 2014

Fleeting firefly moments with you
I catch and hide them in a box.
I take them away from glaring eyes
Hide it under faithful rocks.

Dodging those snatching hands
Catching glitter under bare trees
In an urgency to find space
And let out free.

Someday,
we will have a garden of them
Firefly moments of our sweet time
Its a matter of where and when.

Stitch me up

Winter, 2012

And you led me through the sand
You took me by my hand
With your soft warm grip
That firm dictating lip
I miss you by the day
When the lonely night is chased away
I miss you when it’s dark
In jokes and sundry lark.
Come here now
Pick me up
Throw me down
Stitch me up.

Gardener, wildling and weed

That one blossomed in the garden
Joyous as could be
She, untouched by man and weather,
An envy to see.

She was one spring,
Sought by this gardener with care
One who bent down on his knee
To lift her upright with his hands bare.

He picked out his hat in summer-time
To enjoy sunshine by her fragrant side
And she in turn would turn unto him her hue
Kissed by a man of this kind.

But like any man was he
As the days grew cold
He wouldn’t show up anymore
She peeped at the gate
while her spirit grew sore

She thought to herself
‘Now you leave me to the nature
You are not there when I cry
You would not know when my life freezes
You would not know when I die.’

To comfort the blossom’s wilting leave
Crawled by a sneaky weed.
She leaned for comfort
Unaware of the thief encroaching the dirt.

Running out of air
She cut her own shoot
She had to leave her bed
Leaving behind traces of her root.

She would go by the wildling
Who plucked her when he was young
I will die young, she thought, at least in the arms of one
Who would hold me till I am done.

The Sky-Sea

The sky opened its heart
And told me to taste its pearl sea
I leaned forward bewitched
Then stepped back wondering how could it be.

He laughed and told me
“Just walk right in. Your place awaits you”
I wasn’t sure if this was meant
Or had our past encounters left something due.

When I saw the sky alit and dim
Holding out its hand to let me through
I took a gasp of breath
And said I do.

“You do what?”
Said the people around me as I snapped out of a dream
“Oh, I have a lot to do,
That’s what I mean”.

Yet another day
I step out into sunshine
And look at the sky, wondering,
Are you really mine?

The sky urges
“I and my seas have always been”
Then why won’t you bend down from that horizon
And take me like its queen?

[P.S.

Am I to take a flight
To reach you on a whim
Or work with time
And ensure that I can swim?]

Entertaining a Fool: Heart vs. Mind

Why don’t they teach our hearts to be as quick as our minds? Move quickly, ruthlessly. My heart falls in love slowly. And doesn’t move so quickly. There is ill-synchronization – this process design would naturally be systematically wrong, and give a right scenario only by chance. Problem identified. Solution awaited.

Step 1: Stop listening to the heart. It is a fool. The heart is the devil. It will pine and cry and demand.

Step 2: You said no to the heart in the first instance. The heart should mellow down by now. Look at it with tenderness. Listen to it. Exhausted of crying, it would now be calmer. Ask the heart what it wants. It will reply quietly. Ask the heart ‘why?’ It will invariably have an answer. If it continues to ask for the same thing, let it have some.

Step 3: If everything goes well: congratulations. If it doesn’t, well, continue to Step 4.

Step 4: If everything isn’t as planned, its alright. Life isn’t a perfect story. Remember never to put your life on hold for anyone. This is a recipe for disaster – it brews all kinds of unnecessary expectations. Improvise. Compromise. Do not idealize.

Step 5: If things don’t work out despite genuine effort, you should know the limit to which you are willing to go. If anything asks you to lower your self-esteem – drop it.

Step 6: Drop it, Move on. Remember, don’t put your life on hold.

Step 7: Easier said than done? I agree. But you have simply got to do it. Stand up straight, throw back your hair, and get on with work. You have a life, the centre of which is you . Someone once told me a brilliant quote by Charlie Chaplin: “Life is a tragedy in close-up, but a comedy in long shot.” Look at the big picture and be grateful for the experience that made you more aware of yourself. Before I sleep at night, I thank God for all the bad experiences that have hurt me in some way. These are the experiences that make you go outside your comfort zone. If life were a jungle, this experience just made you fitter to survive. You just smoothened a rough edge that you had, and are now stronger for everything else that you wanted, and I do know you have many dreams that are blazing inside you asking for some fresh air. Go tend to them.

Step 8: When in life you look back, don’t regret anything. It is what you wanted and you did everything in good faith. For the next time, I would remember these lines I once heard from sufi singer Shafqat Amanat Ali: “Hamne usase wafa mangi jise wafa ka matlab hi nahi pata”, “I asked for the sincerity from one, who is oblivious to what it means.” Forgive yourself and move on. Next time, give the mind more time to audit your heart’s whims.

Leaves, you, and me

Standing among the trees
Feeling that breeze
You look at me adoringly
As I straighten up that crease.

You lift me off my feet
Throw me into a mess of autumn leaves
“Are you going to help me up now?”
and you tell me to say that with a please.

I roll my eyes
Brush fingers through my hair
Re-arrange my dress –
And you push me down again.

Two friends and a Picnic

Two friends by a lake
They laugh at a joke.
Not far behind them a friendly house –
Sniffs out some Smoke.

The friends, they stroll,
And pet each other’s dog;
While somewhere in a house’s fireplace,
Someone pushes in another log.

The friends – they arrange a picnic,
They have a cake and open a beer.
And something burns nearby,
Something very, very dear.

They play a game of rummy
One wins, other ensures those cards.
Very close behind
Abandoned structures are falling apart.

They get up and stretch –
And play some more games.
In the backdrop one could see
The house light up in flames.

The fire would follow dry grass,
And near the picnic it would land.
Would they run the easier ways?
Or would they hold out a hand?