You could heat the metal case placed above you
by coarse hands with hopes to prepare food
little morsels that they call a meal using your arms,
to fulfill childish hunger on a chilly night.
You could be wrathfully burning the innocent pages of a diary
that potentially held a universe of emotions,
powering the flames of anger and helplessness,
similar to those in the heart.
You could be the quivering flames of a diya
lit with immense devotion and downright credence in an invisible entity,
accompanied by murmurs, asking begging for blessings.
You could be the spectator of fervent,
blooming love at a campfire
while hands swivel around leaning bodies in search of warmth,
singing classics in unsteady voices.
You could be the blazing end of a cigarette
held to lips full of unknown despair,
clenched between someone’s fingers in poise,
while you slowly fall as redundant ash
and so does their smoky breath.
Waves are too long
Perhaps sometimes short.
They slide onto seashore,
With an aspiring hope, to
Bring about a smile on million faces.
They try harder to come up,
Thus giving Nature its beauty.
They are never bored of gliding into sea,
Never aggravating, Never dismayed.
Their Nature seems to be calm and peaceful.
Humans feel joyous to glance them.
But fail to be like them.
In continuous thoughts
The mind becomes an opaque screen
Imprisoned in the world of shapes, of forms
Else it’s engaged in the consciousness of
The unmanifested, the beyond
In walking with nature
My mind honours that rapturous realm
Absorbed to the brim
Leaving no space for its mental habit
A tranquil wave of freedom sweeps over me
Stillness echoes laughter of the winds
Silence screams ecstasy
To the grace of the mighty mountains
In a glorious burst of white
The sun-kissing peaks reflect expressive colours
The mind’s eye moves across
The compelling canvas
To suit its parameters of art and beauty
The walk with nature continues
In the immeasurable, infinite umbrella of blue
The upward gaze connects
With diverse philosophical strands
The silent core of the being
In penning these lines and
Bows its head to the elements
Earth, water, air, fire and space
Symbols of birth, re-birth, life, death
Nostalgia and joy
The soul in its metaphorical journey of love
Discovers its own eternity.
Futility of a clinging sun
On the breast of a shamed, helpless sky
The exquisite architecture
Of the Kedarnath Shrine
Tracing centuries of mythology
Warms to yellow
Yet we hear no echo that recalls rhythms of life
Shiva, the bestower of longevity
Trapped the descending Ganges in his hair
Absorbing her fall
Yet today, he thrust the Mandakini down from the
High trapeze of ruthless glaciers
Washing villages off the map
Dragging scarlet remains
Of annihilated beings
That belong to the river now.
Shiva played the conventional destroyer
Oblivious to the difference between
Beautiful and ugly
Between man and ghost
Between life and death
He watched the tandav of nature
As the debris at the temple threshold
Gathered heaps of bones, bodies and
Vestiges of life
Are these merely cultural delusions
For Shiva the supreme hermit?
A vertiginous night descends
Sad lights on the mountain scape
Rise out of blackened waters
The cadence of darkness is mine alone today
I sit to write the countless forgotten names
In my remembrance diary
Uncertain thoughts ask of the
Lone survivor – the shiv-linga*
Why is life so short
Why is death so long?
Save the glory, save the pride,
Save India’s Tigers, save the indigenous wild.
Save the unearthly beauty, save the exquisite roar,
Save the Royals by the Sunderbans’ shore.
Save those vibrant deep eyes which have seen it all,
From the Zebra, the Giraffe to the Monkey who had the greatest fall.
Save the paws which have pounced so hard,
On the Cheetah, the Bear, all smashed like cards.
Save the stripped skin that glittered in the Sun,
Save it from being perforated by the deadly gun.
Save Your Majesty as he pleads for forgiveness,
For crimes that were not his business.
Save the emperor of the Jungle,
The law of nature – let us not bungle.
From ‘endangered’ to ‘extinct’ – it won’t take much time,
All that would be left then would be a few activists’ cries and whines.
Save the mankind from this great fall!
Ponder, whether your entertainment is worth it all?
Still as the morning
He stood in the gloom
Slivers of mist drooped
Over his haunch
A glint of dew in
His spreading crown
Warm puffs of breath
From his cold, wet nose
Crack went a twig
Beneath my feet
I looked up and
The stag was gone.
Thou majestic mountains who stand up so high
Who romance the clouds up in the sky
The setting of pine trees adds to your beauty
The spread of snow makes one fall for you madly
Your charm forces one never to go back
Your beauty lures one always to your track
The aura around you soothes the restless minds
It makes even a ruthless soul noble and kind
The Past sets as the winter withers.
Slowly and painfully the leaves succumb
To the deceit of peace the rain portrays.
The dome is but a gloom, the sun escapes
The dreary heartland of mourning foliage.
Herein lies the deeds of men forgotten
Like Time which hast passed its prime.
The Present strides like grace become.
Audacious and simple the squirrels frolic
To the betrayal of light tantalizingly encompassed.
The winter isn’t dead; the lost hills beckon
The pacified sphere to which they belong.
Herein lies the mortification of men tested
Like Time living its futility.
The Future stalks like infinitely surreptitious.
Fear it faces lest mortals dutifully rebuke
The promise of glory it may never foretell.
The pastures anew for winter’s belching
Of it’s last curse of creepy rain.
Herein lies the hopes of generations
Will Time withstand winter’s strain?
The fierce fury of rain and unleashed
anger of the wind erased everything
around me like a black canvas sans the picture
The structure which was my home
is nowhere to be seen and a pile of
bricks and broken branches made
it looks like an isolated tomb
The garden, when it was there, resembles
a pond of mud with multi colored dead fish
after mutilation by a pack of predators
who had a field day of genocide
The trees who cared with their shades
and fed me with their sumptuous offerings
stands naked like monuments of a war
reluctant and ashamed to look down
It all began with a soothing breeze
along with a cooling drizzle
which felt heavenly in the summer rage
but turned out to be a Curse in Disguise
My glass is clouded;
In this driving rain, a whiff-
of the salty sea!
Listen to the rain-
Like many running ripples,
Like gulls on the wing!
Sailor I am not,
Nor fisher or diver deep;
Yet I hear her call!
It rolls and it tugs,
This rising swell within me;
Deep, soft- all at once!
Its shores are not mine,
Nor to its waves I belong;
Yet for them I yearn!
When the sea beckons
from afar, I close my eyes-
It roars within me!
The incessant rain all through the night,
the intimidating thunders, like a mammoth
metal sheet scrolled again and again on a rock,
its echo reverberating on the horizon and
the carnival continued all night long
The band of night singers and their accompaniment
simply vanished before the rain started spoiling
their show; the rhythm of the fall and blast
of the thunder synchronising the tune
of nature’s symphony of fury
The charade ceased before dawn, leaving
the shivering and weeping trees for their loss,
the separated limbs lying down there and looking
up in surrender like fallen soldiers on the ground
Bushes and their clans, drenched, dripping,
shocked and shivering, looking for the sun
for help to be up and the submerged grass
struggling to breath and rise
Channels like slithering snakes leading
the water away and all around lay broken
branches and fallen leaves and the scenario
looks like a battlefield after a night long fierce war
A fallen leaf in a flowing stream
How far and how long, have no answer
It is not moving ahead but being
carried away by the current
It have no control over its pace or
position and it cannot make any change
in its course or destination, just laying
there and being carried away
Few moments back, it was the part of
the canopy where there is no individuality,
name or identity, but it was
part of the green crown
No one grieve for its fall and
no one care for its loss and
no one knew that it is missing
That is the way of their life
In the depth of the night
the time stands still for a moment
Nothing moves, even the
breeze holds its breath
Absolute silence and calm prevails
as if the time is taking a break.
The bragging birds have gone
and the band of crickets have vanished.
This animated suspension lasts
only for a few seconds where there
is no past, present or future
and this infinity moment has no name.
The shore was bare like a torn piece of rug thrown in
deafening silence filled over it, covered by a blanket of fog
The sea, frightened, frustrated and surrendered
The waves continued to nudge the shore to help
A pale moon watched, bewildered, up above
The halo deepening the numbness below
Few unknown birds flew around aimlessly
spurting out some gibberish as if mocking the waves
The expanse of the sea defiantly lay there
looking up at the sky as if in surrender and expectation
The foamy waves trying to cover its nakedness in vain
and the moon looked down uninterested
Few stars came out of their hiding to watch the scene below
and looked down in amusement, blinking their eyes
The whole scenario like the last part of a play, enacted
in silence, except the occasional exclamation of the birds
hovering around like a predator waiting for the kill continued
The moon watched the ritual below, without amusement
The spread of the ocean lying, waiting and heaving a sigh
The waves impatiently struggling to wake up the shore
The birds circling above, chuckling in amusement
and the patch of the sand like a carpet laid out for some ritual to begin
like a Scene from a dream…
The rhapsody of the fall, all night long,
reminds of an unknown folk tune and
the hissing of the wind, swaying of the
trees, colored the commotion.
The moon who was smiling at the stars
went away with his friends and the sky
became a black blanket over earth like
a carpet of gloom and woes.
The rain roared like a monster and
the trees trembled and bushes shivered.
The bird, without a name, was humming
an old song for the moon, before the rain,
flew away leaving her nest in the branch alone,
to grieve the loss of its friend.
The mild breeze who was roaming around
caressing the leaves quietly vanished
into the stillness of the night.
A lonely tree stood in the dark,
meditating in silence, praying for
the cacophony to end, looking up
in the sky, water dripping over it like tears.
November rain, came without any caution
like a predator jumping upon its prey…