Kaveri Maha Pushkaram

The sound of talking drum
Fell with painful thuds
Like the dance of the parched rocks
All along the course of dying Kaveri
The poor kingdom on her riverbed
Came out of their doomed homes
To hear the good news at last
And they heard it like a whimpering dog
Tortured to an extent it forgot what it means to be loved
Rejoice, the talking drum bellowed,
Kaveri is to be released from the dam finally
And the river after a long long time
Will flow like a maiden again
Then the talking drum changed tone and sneered,
But not for you, farmer, her true love,
You who eat your own shit for a chance to meet her
For a chance to feel her running through your fingers
For a chance to make love to her
For a chance to celebrate her
But the ten thousand cubic water released per second,
Capable of irrigating acres of your land,
Capable of erasing all your sorrows,
Capable of bringing a thousand suns to your dim households,
Is for the men who for thousand years dominated you
For a religious custom, you can never participate
For a one hundred and thirty-four year tradition that you will never understand
For sustaining a reason that reduces you to a slave
And you will accept it without a sound
Like you accept so many things
Including your premature death.
Saying thus the talking drum retreated
Back to the dungeons of the wicked,
Yet powerful men.
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When I see a lonely bird

When I see a lonely bird

I get sad like its loneliness

 

When I see a lonely bird

I’m afraid the moment will disappear like December fog

 

When I see a lonely bird

I wade in the sea of poetry that washes me ashore

 

When I see a lonely bird

I’m all the discarded yet beautiful things in life

 

When I see a lonely bird

I become the dark storm clouds that cross mainland

 

When I see a lonely bird

I remember that the world is built on stories of the dead

 

When I see a lonely bird

I’m aware of the constant color changing sky

 

When I see a lonely bird

I hear soothing songs from an old transistor

 

When I see a lonely bird

I converse with the evil hovering above me

 

When I see a lonely bird

I realize I will always find a friend in nature

 

When I see a lonely bird

I envision the splendid moon blooming beside me

 

When I see a lonely bird

I count the number of grass I have rested upon

 

When I see a lonely bird

I’m as still as I’m flowing

 

When I see a lonely bird

I’m as anxious as I’m excited

 

When I see a lonely bird

I’m reminded I am human too.

 

Samosas for a Giant

It is said that in a factory in the North

Millions of samosas are made for a single

Foul smelling Giant who eats them all day long

Munching the mixture on its greedy yellow teeth

Stopping only to smack its lip or to let out a burp

Before ordering millions again

The giant is very particular that the samosas

Must be similar in size, all of them, no innovation,

No change in taste or face its uncontrollable fury

And thus the factory continues to run on the fuel of fear

Deceiving itself that it would be rewarded,

Each samosa repaid in the future with developments

And underestimating the appetite of the Giant

 

The truth is that the Giant doesn’t even love somosas very much

 

It just wants to control the potato population

That vegetates underground in different shapes and sizes

And usually, have a rebellious attitude to see above ground

The giant doesn’t like the ones who want to stare at sky and wonder

It wants resources that it can use to build up its own strength

And thus the Giant mush potatoes and stuff them inside a custom wrap

Frying them in hot boiling oil to kill them and eat

Munching the mixture on its greedy yellow teeth

Stopping only to smack its lip or to let out a burp

Before ordering millions again.

 

Keymakers

9818888536

Call this number

To make a key for you

Any key that you require

For any door that you want to unlock

Do not worry about your heart

They will never make a copy unless you want them to

They are glad they could help you

Sharpening their tools they await

For your clandestine approach

They understand what it means to ask

The key that will open a door of your desires

The door beyond which is a free fall that you crave

Selected from the history of men they select the key

That repeats and resembles your want

And tailor it to the strength of your eyes;

When the hot forged metal is pressed on your palm

It dissolves inside you to unload all the pain

That you have been carrying so long alone

And your smile is received as payment

For their service.

Maula Ali

Maula Ali is an empty

Railway station that you may cross

Thugthugthugthugthagaging

Your way to Hyderabad

The station smirks at you

Showing you just glimpses

Of its serenity

Before disappearing into

Your incapacity to stop time

You press your cheeks

On the cold iron grill

And try to follow the station

Bach! It’s long gone,

Along with it the heart

Of a rain fed morning

That you fell in love for seconds.

Oh! The heartbreak!!

The glistening tracks

Listen to you grieve

And they console your tears

By convincing them to go back

Into eyes and rewind the memory

Of

A rain fed morning

A lonely station

Maula Ali

A sky blue bench

Thickets with blooming flowers

You with a coffee mug

Looking like you know the place

And time

You with a smile

Knowing you were once

In a train that hurtled past the station

You, then,

Not knowing the place or time

Or anything

That was happening your life.

Maula Ali an empty railway station

That you may reflect

Thugthugthugthugthagaging

Your way to Hyderabad is now

Distant both from your past and future

Waiting for you

To cross the memory again.

The Battle of Jamun

People armed with feeble sticks
Marched on either side of Rajpath
Peppered all around like the rains that
Attacked New Delhi during twilight;
Looking up at the towers of Jamun tree
They sent their missiles made of broken
Branches into the peaceful foliage
Targeting the innocent Jamun gems
That dropped upon the battlefield mud
Many dead and some fatally injured;
The human enemies exclaimed in joy
Picking up the ripe among the soldiers as
Their souvenirs of an enigmatic victory
And pocketed them in their plastic treasury
Some to be taken back home and cremated
Some to be dumped mercilessly in dustbins
The rest of the Jamuns being victims of war,
Were pulped against thousand feet
Colouring the lush green lawn purple
And spattering a vinegaric aura down the lane
Soon after the humans have left
Little scavenger squirrels scuttled down
The tower trees and along with masked Mynaa,
Treated upon the remains of the Jamun warriors;
The humans usually have a pompous retreat
Only to be stopped few blocks down the road
At the entrance of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan
Where the elected King and ministers reside
And the people, not realising that
They granted these cons their powers,
Contend themselves with their Jamun loot
And return back to barracks being obedient soldiers.
The abidance triumphed and people fooled
The corridors of power echoes with laughter
Signalling the advent of an invisible battle
More dangerous than the battle of jamun
More real and which draws red human blood.

Tuition teacher

I was walking

Back home from the dark

When lights spurted suddenly

From a distant tile-roofed house

That pushed me into the brightness

Of my childhood memories.

 

I peeked inside the large empty hall;

I have crossed it

A thousand times like a grasshopper,

Glancing with apprehension

At the garlanded photos on the wall,

To attend my evening tuitions

At the back side room

That had cracked floors and leaky ceilings.

 

I remember crumbling

Those peeling paints of the wall;

I remember smacking

Those buzzing flies dead on the floor;

Most of all I remember

My tuition teacher,

Who arrives fresh and perfumed,

And her embarrassing welcome kiss

Firmly on my cheeks

Which would leave me red-faced

And seem to last forever.

 

As I crossed my childhood

And the dusky evenings spent

Over colorless books

On the back side of that roof tied house

I realized I had quickened my pace

And my gaze straight and unnerved

As if to cross those memories faster

And save myself from the embarrassment

My tuition teacher’s kiss,

Her love, bestowed upon me.

 

And I also realized

With a tinge of sadness,

Amidst the cacophony of

Mating frogs and toads,

That I have been scurrying away

From expressing love,

That I have not been exposed

To infinite love,

That I have been embarrassed

About receiving love,

My whole damn life.