Posted in Verses

Calicut

The land of my dreams.

The fantasy that was my childhood.

I look out eagerly from the passenger seat 

At buildings and banners flying by

And search among them

The remembered past.

The fabled streets and the taste of sherbet

The many hued halwas

And sweet faloodas

Flash before me and yet I

See them not;

I try to knead through abstruse reality

And am faced with surrealism,

Illusions of my own making.

I step into my dear aunt’s house

House, not home, mind you

For this is not home

Not this majestic monstrosity in white

With the perfect wooden floors

And the crystal chandelier

Surrounded by limp manicured shrubs

Ordered to stand to attention;

Home was where the flaky paint

Showed off marks of dirt and crayons

Where broken tiles and low parapets

With ageing wisdom

Nestled my young limbs 

While mighty trees swung their shade

Along walls where wild bougainville

Climbed and bloomed

In a frenzy of colours

In the direction of my fancy 

Where cats, no less than nine

Joined in to play with abandon..

I roam from room to room 

Struggling against my senses

And clutching at the scattered pieces

Of a child’s memories 

Afraid to let go

Lest I should lose myself.

A lonely tear strays out of my right eye

And wanders, a vagabond on a misled trail

Like me.

Posted in Verses

Green TemptationĀ 

‘Go on, go on, a little bite’ 

The wily uncle tempted

As she sat in respite

The crafty task unattempted 

She stared at the little mango green

Placed in her tiny hand 

Eyes curious and keen,

An unsuspecting infant.

Two tiny teeth on her upper jaw

And two tiny ones on the lower

She smiled with them at all she saw

And o’er the fruit now did they hover

She bit down hard and as her face

Wrinkled in betrayal’s taste

Her uncle caught her sour gaze

In a click of notorious haste

For years to come, the photograph

Remained in the Favourites pile

For his sly capture made everyone laugh

And her innocence made them smile.

Note: My uncle was in college and experimenting with photography at the time I was born, and I was soon his favourite subject. All my childhood photos were taken by him, the first time I stood up, sat up, me creeping up the stairs.. I was around 7 months when the mango pic was taken, the first teeth just out and eager to bite into anything I got offered. I could almost taste the sourness every time I looked at it – me in a yellow dress with the very green mango in my hand and face scrunched comically. Sadly I lost it when I moved.


Posted in Verses

At CrossroadsĀ 

At crossroads we met

Weary of solitude

Having trudged long days

On our own forlorn paths.

I saw you across the road

A mirage, a dream long fostered

Of laughter and love,

And you saw me

A mirage, a wildflower,

A haven for your heart.

Briefly we dwelled

In the solace of illusions

Under the summer sun

Red blossoms and green shade,

Whistling to the wind

In each other’s arms

Souls adrift

In breezy gaity;

Briefly we dwelled

In each other’s dreams.

Twilight set in,

Two shadows parted

With stars singing

Quiet requiems for the passing light

As the twinning roads

Again took us

On our lone journeys home.