Poems by Anagha Ramanujam

Life in My Eyes

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

“Life” is but a canvas spread,
Fill it with yellows and blues and greens and reds,
Live every moment that destiny unfolds,
A plethora of tricks and expressions, this song beholds-
The colours of sunshine reflected in a glass of wine,
The humming bees that on sweet nectar dine,
The hot cakes that out of the oven you toss,
The ducks in the lake that play knots and cross’,
The fresh drops of dew that on pearly roses grow,
The countless stars that to the moon every night bow,
The songs that cuckoo’s of the black forests sing
The gurgling waters of a sulfur spring,
The muffle of footsteps on a rainy day-
They all gather and come to say
This life is not to be wasted away
Live it well and remember in your wake,
That you’re blessed with all that you have today
And much more if only you’d realize it before it’s snatched away.

Zeit am IIT

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

I sat down last night,
In the IIT lingo, “to put fight”
On a new kind of assignment, I was asked to give in
A lecture for my juniors, on how to manage time.

An expert I am not, in this field, I should tell you
And yet as I look back at the years too few
I’ve spent at IIT I’ve learnt things anew.

The story I am about to tell
Is of a fresher, who used to wonder,
If a day such will come, when he would be known-
By not just a number but a name to be told
For that was all that IIT had given him
After all the fame JEE had brought.

He’d sit in class, in rapt attention
Focus hard to forget issues I wouldn’t care to mention
This was IIT, the dream destination
For him and you and all God’s creation
“Life now is a cake walk” he was told,
Before he entered the portals so cold
No there’s no winter, no summer, no autumn, no spring-
‘Tis Summer alright but only a fresher could know
Of the freezing cold in an instructor’s eyes,
Who called for him as a mere number four?

This was how his destiny was shaped
To lose an identity and not just a name,
For a number is how he stood to be known
And the seeds of perspiration had already been sown.

August was fun,
He was always on the run.
Classes and workshops and theatre and dance
They had the powers of keeping him in a trance.
Until the D-Day came knocking at his door,
To announce quiz-I and scare him to the core,
His prep. was poor by JEE standards
And soon he was wary
Of the mundane classes,
The monotonous existence and the lull in hostel life.
Was this the IIT that’d made him forget?
Fun and happiness in an attempt to get
The coveted seat for which anyone would bet?

He had little time for anything but to cram,
He’d returned to the school-
From where he’d thought he’d ran.
Peers and Friends yearned for the quarter mark
Grades seemed to require anything but the spark,
Caught he was in the inescapable rut,
And could choose just one- books OPEN or SHUT!

To choose the former he’d have to be prepared,
To stick to work and never at midnight lurk-
In the fields or alleys or playgrounds or concerts,
To forget he was a boy with interests and wants.
For all he’d have would be books for company
And yet his grades might take a severe beating
As for the Prof, he would be in the next number list meeting!

If the latter he’d choose then life was a party
For books and classes weren’t for him smarty!
For then the world was another stage
With roles to enact and responsibilities to shoulder
Brochures and pamphlets and contacts would fill his folders
Late nights would be the order of the day
Lectures would mean a wake up call
A transport from his room to the lecture hall
There again asleep he could fall!
Assignments he could copy no issues there at all-
For quizzes and exams, the stud’s notes would be handy.
He’d probably get away with a decent grade
And look down at the stud for the effort he’d made
His failure in seeing the lighter side
Of existence in IIT, a matter of Pride

To wish for both it seemed a crime
And yet he stood there, waiting for the time
When happiness and success
Bailed him out of this mess!
To become a good engineer was a dream he cherished most
Yet an identity, a pride, and a smile he longed for
Alas! Outside the class all this had to be sought
The work load was heavy
He never found time
To shut his book and gaze at the sky
For each book would lead him to yet another
In the mere hope of being known by more than a number!
He soon exhausted the reserves from home he had brought
And cried and screamed for the happiness he had sought
Only to be in yet another submission caught!

As time went by, he began to learn-
That management was the key
If it was deep seas he wished to churn.
Hard it was, unachievable at times
But the success it brought was worth many lives.
To begin it was tough,
But some time he had to master this stuff-
For it held the key that’d open a lock
And unleash a future in which success would flock.
He planned his tasks, he organized his day,
And time he began to find for study and play
His grades soon did a summersault
And left his friends doing pole-vault.
They flocked to him to ask, to know
How he’d managed the results he’d shown
They asked him where he found the time,
To work and play and excel in all
To know the secret of his sunny smile
The force that powered his happy life
And shocked they were to hear the Prof.
Call him by a name and not the roll call!

I wonder if you here would like to try
The strategies he used to succeed and not cry,
They’ll work for you too, I can assure you
And then you can at this podium stand
And tell yet another batch
That in a year from now will land
How you managed to learn the art
Of juggling your work and recreation
Right at the START!

The Lighter Side

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

The very first of the year it is.
And people have already begun to hop-
From shop to shop
That has gone on discount,
Trying to allure customers
In numbers impossible to count.
To buy fridge and Washing Machines-
And Microwaves et al.

“All under one roof”- The catch line goes,
Huge crowds and wait listed deliveries
Indeed goes to show-
The customer’s weakness for low priced goods-
Never mind the quality, the lifetime or even the looks!
Go get them cheap-
Even if you’ll later sit n weep
Over your stupidity
And the defective piece!

One such customer, I met recently,
By the sale and the huge discounts-
She was floored completely.
I waited a Year for this discount, she recounts
And bought a microwave, a Fridge and a Cell,
Also a TV, some furniture and utensils for my shelf.

All in one go, accomplished was her mission,
Payment done and purchases completed-
Only no money, no delivery bags here needed.
For payment was made through Credit Card
And all goods now out of stock-
Would on a later date be delivered.
A day, a week, a fortnight or a month
Nothing indeed could possibly be inferred!

“Surely before the next sale”-
The sales man exclaimed
But the look on the lady’s face was anything but pained.
Mission accomplished, she returned home happy
And waited patiently for the delivery ‘cappy’.

A week went by and nothing had come
“We’ve placed the orders the shopkeeper had sung.
“Too many purchases “- we couldn’t cope
Sorry for the delay, I surely hope
The delivery boy comes by in the next fortnight
And sets up your home perfectly all right.

The doorbell rang- the fridge had arrived
Only it wasn’t the exact color prescribed.
“Oh, it’s all right! I did get it cheap-
But where are the other commodities-
I should get to keep?”
For the fridge had no trays, no freezer door
No stands to keep it erect on the floor!
“You didn’t pay for those ma’am”-
Was the quick response.
Come back to us and you aren’t at a loss
The discount is over but we still have stock
We’ll now supply everything round the clock!

The fridge was installed, but the door wouldn’t open
You needed both hands and all the force you could muster
For this new device was meant to cool faster.
A one handed pull would indeed bring the whole thing along-
To spill the milk and juice and topple everything inside.
A leg was bent and a side dented,
The guarantee was absent
The manufacturer had shut shop.

Oh, what have I done! I must go and stop
The other goods from arriving and causing further loss
My life was happier before I went to shop
At the annual sale that was anything but a flop.
I don’t need a TV, a microwave et al.
The next time I wish to buy some stock
The commodity with me I surely will flock.
I’ve saved enough for the rainy day
And forgotten peace n happiness n gay.
The annual sale is anything but a loss
To fool the customer and get him to buy
To watch all goods that in no time fly
Off the shelf and bring home profit
Leaving people perplexed and gaping
At what big fools they are in the making!

Total Confusion

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

A teacher sits in a corner,
With his legs on the table at ease.
A confused little student asks-
Sir, could you answer some questions please?

Irritated with her for interrupting his dream-
He stood up and screamed,
With his ears puffing with steam.
Soon he calmed down,
His anger transformed into a frown.

Go on sweetheart,
And empty your cart.
While my clever mind puts on a thinking cap,
And helps you fill your foolscap*.

A little scared initially,
But mustering courage finally,
She asked- “Sir,-
How come glowworms are fire flies,
Which in turn are beetles?”
Oh! It’s quite simple says he,
As soon as you apply common sense-
Ah! Isn’t it itself quite uncommon?

Why do days begin at midnight?
And nightmares occur in broad daylight,
While you daydream at night?
Of course if female nurses are sisters,
Male nurses should also be brothers?

Science teachers must be really mad,
To tell us that feet run and noses smell,
When on the contrary,
It is feet that smell and noses that run.
Thus the state of affairs is really sad!!

While idle rumors definitely go around,
The boxing ring is anything but round.
The greyhound isn’t always Grey,
Just as Greenland is never seen,
With forests or flowers or even green.

The sitting area of a stadium-
Is actually called the stands,
And a standing committee normally-
Sits around talking,
And earns money for just mocking.

A debit card is called a credit card,
And a plastic surgery doesn’t use-
Any plastic to leave you unscarred.
While quick sand is anything but quick,
Evenings make you feel morning sick.

Kids aren’t the only ones to be kidnapped,
For I’ve heard of old men being nabbed.
Rush hour traffic is painfully slow,
And though women are given more to crying,
Men always prefer larger hankies while buying.

A king rules his kingdom,
But can Elizabeth claim her United Queendom?
I’ve seen women man stations,
But why haven’t I heard of men woman them?

Opportunity always knocks at your door,
But hasn’t yet started ringing the bell or talking.
Shipment can be sent through trucks,
But have you heard of cargo being trucked by sea?

Scientists seem to have lost their head,
For they publish journals about a shrinking world,
But tell me if the earth is becoming smaller,
Why are airfares showing a meteoric rise?
When meteors actually fall down.

A black hole is neither black nor a hole,
And the bottom of your shoe is called a sole.
When you have business to attend downtown,
Why do you always go uptown?
And after announcing of going down to the country,
You end up going up country.

The dedicated teacher seems to have had enough,
For I can now hear him snoring.
Why do people simply run away?
Calling my confusing Questions highly boring?
If you too echo their thoughts, I’d like to know,
Why you wasted your time reading!!!!!

*Foolscap here stands for foolscap paper.

A Fruitless War That Was Waged

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

As I thought of the narrow dusty lanes,
Of what had been an honorary ‘white’ country,
The thought of burning fenders and broken panes
Invoked fears of futile wars.
That disrupt peace and tranquility-
That rightfully belong to a city.

It was a thought of ‘Hiroshima’
Where war planes had left behind-
Charred bodies and gulled buildings
Without thinking of being kind.

Those who had survived the blow,
Would have been considered to be-
A little lucky, but lo,
Only time could heel
All the grief, they would feel.

I could sense a lad come up behind,
With eyes brimming with tears,
And heart pounding in fear.
Under a cloud of smoke we saw,
No one to stand by law,
As charred bodies were taken away,
Like huge bundles of burnt hay.
After two decades of existence on earth,
Happiness and joy were surely in dearth.

The 7th of August it was in 1945,
Also his sister’s birthday.
Determined to make it in a way,
Worth remembering for decades to come,
He ‘d invited friends who’d add to the fun
And jugglers and clowns for summersaults.

All would be there
To make the celebration worthwhile
Except his older brother, who was away where
War was in progress but would soon come to an end.
For his welcome they would spend,
Nothing less than a thousand yen.
For he had made his motherland proud.
And they’d soon reunite and hear-
About his bravery amidst a large crowd.

It was in these thoughts that he was engulfed
Hence not realizing how fast time flew away.
Soon the shrine clock struck six
Breaking and disturbing his flow of thoughts.

There was still some time before his family woke up,
On a holiday morning,
They’d love some cocoa in the new wooden cup
So off he went, to the next door lodging,
To get some cocoa for everyone,
For money, he’d look in the closet for some.

Many had arrived at the city shrine,
But were suddenly taken by surprise,
When all of a sudden, they saw fighter planes
Swirling above the electric mains
Leaving them to gaze,
Suddenly one of them,
Dropped a bomb that set the city ablaze.
Within minutes the whole show was over,
And a city built over hundreds of years-
Was simply left with memories to hover.

When this young lad had hoped-
To make the day a memorable one,
How was he to know that without his efforts,
The day would be remembered by generations to come.
By not his family alone,
But by the children across the globe.
Not as his sister’s birthday,
But when innocent people were burnt at bay,
In the leaping fires of death.

Despite the ruins left behind,
Solely for saving ‘American’ grace.
War hasn’t been halted,
But instead dictated-
To lurk in our minds as the most powerful weapon,
That threatens the lives of innocent civilians.

What ever be the advancement scientists have made,
Invention of nuclear weapons still remain,
The most disastrous of them all,
That can damage cities once and for all.
Perhaps we should return to peace in time
Leaving such disasters only for mime.
And work to spread the message of peace,
That will destroy the bomb atleast.

Kitty Party

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

Once upon a time a kitten,
Big and fluffy but called a Pitten,
Arrived at the mansion of Cathryne Rose.
And soon after was seen giving a pose-
To a crowd of media men,
Who had been ready to click away when
The young Miss Pitten stepped off her helicopter-
And father Ruble kissed adieu to his daughter.

Draped in pink satin she looked a darling,
All eager and waiting for a prince charming-
Who’d be arriving a little while later.
Giving Ruble and his master time to cater,
To the needs of the guests and the groom,
Who charged dowry and demanded 20 rooms:
For a large and many many friends-
Who’d offered him a Mercedes as a part of the new trend.

Five past twelve and here Jim was-
Attracting attention all because-
Of the new satin robe his master had provided,
Studded with emeralds & diamonds that could’ve been sighted-
From miles away because of their glitter
Sending audience helter-skelter.
Adding to the looks of this handsome young cat,
Was the faun colour of his oversized hat.

Preparations had begun months ago
Although the proceedings had been rather too slow.
Until the printing of JUST a million invitations
That was to be fulfiled by Perry Creations.
Soliciting the presence of friends and their pets
For the measly wedding of two fat cats.
At the St. Paul’s cathedral in the city of Rome-
Where the Pope himself was to conduct the proceedings
Of what was to be a hilarious wedding.

With the guests having met-
And the feast on the table being set
The musicians began to play-
A soft hum of the wedding song
Specially composed for this day.

The church’s doors were open wide-
And in stepped the diamond eyed cyde-
Among the crowd mewed a herd of cats

Honouring their friend Jim by removing their hats
Some were jealous but others pleased
Of being a part of it at least.
The church was as silent as could’ve be
But for the (loud) mewing of the cats
and the hum of the bees.
(But of course! That wouldn’t matter much
After all it was just above the 100 decibel noise level.)

Half past twelve and the church gong struck
The big cat Jim was surely in luck
For even though Pitten had come tumbling down,
She hadn’t broken her bones or torn her gown.
Angry with herself for having tried to walk
On two feet with high heeled shoes
to show-off her satin frock.
She sat down on the golden throne
Despite the frown her emerald eyes shone,
Imagine!! All decked up like a Christmas tree-
On your own wedding humouring others for free.

The pope chanted something amidst the hype
And declared Jim and Pitten husband and wife.
After the feast and bidding good bye
Pitten left with Jim a little shy-
Her mistress had ended up spending,
As much as the king did for his daughter’s wedding.
Only this was more publicised and recorded
as the most expensive pet wedding.
Rome soon would go to cats and dogs,
And find its name in the Guinness book of records
For a population of cats larger than that of man.
So tomorrow if you happen to see-
Too many cats around town,
Don’t fear! It may just be a pet wedding next doors!!

Mr. Apple’Computer’Baum

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

‘Perched’ on his armchair, glued to the monitor,
Sat Mr. Applebaum-
Wondering how to go about weight loss.
He woke up at 7 in the morning, and took a long long walk,
From his bedroom to his computer room,
(That of course took him a hell lot of time,
Nearly 15 sec. from his precious time.)
He sat on his chair and turned to the screen
And soon after ordered bacon and sausage and burger and cream
From his nearest Delicatessen.
That could be charged on his ATM card, they told him,
And so he didn’t budge from his monitor,
Until the bell rang, 15min later.
This was the only time Applebaum got up,
Except of course when he had visited the toilet.

After a wholesome ‘Breakf-a-s-t’
He got back to his task,
And booted up the news;
To check if the diet books were of any use.
Flushed with guilt, he ordered 6 of them,
Hoping to plan a schedule as soon as he received them.
But dear Mr.Applebaum! He doesn’t realize the futility of it all.
Though all morning he hasn’t budged and fat in his body is building up.
Trying to chase a dragon in the game, he soon gets caught in a terrible maze.
The help button on the key-board, comes to his rescue,
And now it’s time to clear his due.
He hits the stock market and buys a 100shares,
And he sells some too, before returning to his game of the Russian Nightmare.
Meanwhile, he gets fatter &fatter
And wonders how,he’d manage to lose it later.
Oh! Hasn’t he already purchased some wonder books?
That he hopes wold take care of his looks!!!

Soon he sends e-mail to his friend in Flintox,
And this saves him a walk to the corner mailbox
He picks up the cordless and rings up his friend,
And checks if the e-mail has reached him as yet.
“I’ll check and tell you replies his friend
And calls back soon to check if his Fax had reached by then.
All this while, Mr.Applebaum, is growing bigger &fatter,
But not any more stronger.

4p.m!Time to go shopping! Exclaimed his wife from the next room dining.
Don’t worry darling! I’ll buy you a frock, as soon as I recall,
The web-site of snow-white or Big Jos. or Ebony or all.
This saves him a walk to the near-by mall,
As he scrolls the hardware for clothes&books&medicines&gifts,
All to be delivered in the next few minutes.
Browsing through, he comes around-
A”F-a-t-F-r-e-e” aspirin (to be taken after a big Mac burger)
That helps you lose 10 pounds a week if not more.
There calls his wife again-
“Applebaum!! Won’t you help me move the couch?
I’d like to clean before guests are around.

But unfortunately Mr.Applebaum,
Has just established connection with Ricketyfawn.
Just this time honey! He cried to his wife,
I’ve met a friend after a long long time.
This was the story of Mr.Applebaum,
Who remained glued to the monitor,
Except to sleep and visit the ‘loo’.
And so he grew fatter and obeser,
Very soon experts had to be called,
To help Mr.Baum get up from his chair;
For by now, he’d put on too much weight,
Much more than he could help to lose in a decade.
Thus in future everything a man does will be on his computer,
Soon his legs will become useless, and he’ll lose his sense of direction too
And end up fatter winding up in a Fat City with millions of others to accompany him.

Whither Justice

a poem by Anagha Ramanujam

Down the alleyway, deep in the dark,
Stood a beautiful girl playing in the park.
Dancing and laughing and enjoying her ride-
On the tall swing, dressed like a bride.

Anjali- the favourite, but she ne’er said a word,
To any of her mates, except a little bird.
Pampered and loved by each around her,
Hoping, she would speak, at least when near.
But not a single word did she mutter,
Giving them disappointment that was bitter.

Dark in the darkness, in the eerie silence,
She walked along a pathway,
Where ahead of her lay-
Her own new life and a deep dark sky:
Decorated with stars scattered across the sky.
Sparkling like diamonds,
Forming beautiful constellations-
Giving their light, on a moonless night.
Making her hope, that she too might
Someday be one of them
Showing her light to scores of men.

She was a little child no doubt,
But wanted a voice that would enable her speak
And spread her message, though she was meek
To help the misfortunate lead a life of joy
Far from miseries, in the city of Troy.
She longed to be that twinkling star,
Shining in the deep dark sky
Showing her light far and wide.

Untouched by the festivities taking place inside
Where men rejoiced at the cost of her life
Drinking and eating and gambling aside
They were also making a mockery of her life
Thinking a deaf child wouldn’t understand
Not realising that she still had sight,
That forced her to face all miseries by and by.

The bridegroom had arrived-
To take away his bride
A handsome young man
Who was crippled though.

How sad she was! How unhappy she felt!
Not withstanding the injustice done to her-
She felt like screaming-’don’t take me away!’
But having no voice, she was deemed to accept fate.

She wanted to be different, and achieve the best,
At least not married the next instant,
Taking up responsibilities of her own new family.
Withstanding the evils imposed upon her,
Forgoing her childhood for her parents prestige-
In a society where girls were considered burdensome,
As though a curse had befallen them,
Considered good for nothing except cooking.

Perhaps she was only 10, but that was the system-
That prevailed then,
When despite their ability to speak,
Girls were made voiceless and meek.