Struggle

The chores I hate

I hate sweeping floors and mise en place
and to do for people, things
I know they can do themselves.

That is why, I create lists upon lists
of the chores I hate,
knowing that I will find solace
only in a few moments
of unguarded poetry.

But then, one day
my father told me
my poems were no longer poetic
and my words, no longer enough.

So I decided that day,
I’d stop writing
if writing was to be a chore. (more…)

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He goes through phases

He goes through phases with his hair and his heart.
Sometimes, he likes fur and big goggle glasses
but then, he turns grey and is a mystery all over again.

I tell myself I know him,
but there are nights when
I see dreams of his face but not his name.

It’s difficult to remember it all.
It’s difficult to articulate it all.
So, I bury the memories under sand
somewhere in my mind’s backyard
and walk away. (more…)

Tell Me

Am I a dilapidated structure that looks like a castle on the outside?
A mirage in a wet desert of unclean dreams and forbidden conversation?
Or am I real like your breathing on my neck, gentle nudges towards the sad, narrow path?
Tell me, who I am. (more…)

Boys and Girls

Narratives are often exaggerated
for fear of unaroused laughter and silent
mockers. There are those that wear diamonds
in their ears and walk around with side swept hair
and burnt broccoli in the pockets of their white collared shirts.
They do not care for comical stories of unrealized
imaginations and dreams of blemished rejects,
dark skinned and unlike their distant loves.

The world may talk of new beauty beyond sizes
and colors. I know white creams and botox
still make the most money.

Photo credit: kissabug via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Why do you sing of them?

Because he loved me the least and he hurt me the most.
Because somewhere I got tired of still waters.
I fell for tsunami waves, crashing on my shore
destroying every little piece of me. I hated him in the beginning.
I hated him in the end, but somewhere in between
I fell in love with the idea that the roar in his waters was meant for me.
He screamed and cried, and I cried too. And somewhere there
I began to see the words and melody that formed on my lips. It was
magic. But the painful kind. (more…)

I am well

I have been losing again.
Each day, an uphill struggle
with double-edged swords
that come in the form of
literary chromosomes.

I’m stuck wondering and
prying, forgetting what I am
for the pleasure of being
somewhat happy in an
unknown habitat. A zone
of no comfort.

They say that I am a libra
and so I must know how
to weigh my priorities right.
They’re wrong. They always
have been. Stars can never
help me win this battle. (more…)

The Swami’s Call

This was a poem that had won the first prize for a poetry competition I had entered early last year. It focuses on the Indian struggle for independence. The “Swami” mentioned in the poem is Swami Vivekananda who was an inspiration for many during the freedom movement.

Everyday under the harsh sun

I labour and toil

The Sahib whips me

He hits at me.

 

Everyday I see him

Sitting under that Banyan tree

Relishing the fruits of my motherland

His steel blue eyes reflecting the contempt of his heart.

 

Everyday I watched him

Until I heard the swami’s call

Arise, he said

And so I did.

 

Awake, the swami said

And so I did

My brothers and I-

No, we slumber no more.

 

I saw the swami beckoning

I heard him say,

Stop not till your goal is reached

And so I went on.

 

No longer did the Sahib whip me

No longer did he trample my soul

No longer did he crush my spirit

No longer does he violate India.

 

We arose, we were one

India- my kingdom

Freedom- my bequest

We awoke, we emerged.

 

We heard the Swami’s call

We followed in his steps

The battle won, the fight has been fought

My country is now mine.

 

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Photo courtesy: http://images.jagran.com/free-b-30-04-2012.jpg