Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mango crates

I can't afford them yet.
Whims and fancies
and crazy plans
made at the spur
of a moment.
Pretty things
picked off shelves
just because I want them
doesn't yet figure
in the scheme of things.
And a string of numbers
added, subtracted, divided
usually litter the back pages
of my notebooks. 
Change is counted
and funds inspected
and budgets are
pieced together carefully.
I can't afford them yet.
Whims and fancies
and carefree spontaneity.
I look around my room 
and I see its sparse. 
Abundant is the sun
shining through
the big windows.
Or the shimmering starlight
or the shivering breeze
filling the empty spaces. 
An indulgence perhaps.
A chink in the numbers. 
There is a mattress
and a desk and a lamp.  
An old rug and a steel 
cupboard wardrobe.
And my most
prized possessions
have no bookshelf either.
I got a couple of mango crates
and painted them
to keep my books.
But they don't seem to care.
They seem to be doing just fine,
like you,
in makeshift mango crates
painted with love. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Good people

They were good people.
His friends.
The kind who went home
for holidays.
And bought gifts,
wrapped in more than
just brown paper or
newsprint.
The kind who celebrated
festivals and visited family.
They were good people.
His friends.
With jobs and salaries
and savings and targets
and banks and bosses.
And weekend plans.
That fell through often.
Like the plans they constantly
chalked out on the notepad
in their organized
file cabinet minds.
They were good people.
His friends.
Who spoke over a round
of drinks about jobs
as if they were dreams
pieced together over
a lifetime.
And broken relationships
as if they were
broken hearts.
He didn't tell them then.
That it takes more than
just ambition to dream.
More than just a girl or
a boy to break a heart.
And more than just
whiskey and icecream
and old, sad songs
to mend it.
He didn't tell them then.
How sleepless are the nights
when you are dreaming.
And how broken hearts
keep beating in their
broken clockwork way.
And how though he may too
look like them and
laugh like them.
And drink and sing
and regret like them.
He was different.
With wakeful eyes and
tuneless chiming
in his chest.
He didn't tell them.
Because they were
good people, his friends.
And so thought
each one of them
of the others.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Faith

That day the mountain
gave away and he fell
into the waiting arms
of gravity.
Landing with a gentle thud
into the pit of a ravine.
He lay there,
surrounded by others
just like him,
covered with moss
and brooding wild flowers.
He lay there,
still and quiet,
through summers and
winters and storms.
Till you came along.
What was it about him?
Perhaps he was more
striking than the others.
Perhaps, as you slowly
brushed off the moss,
you saw something in him
that no one else could.
And so you brought him
back with you.
A round grey rock
with a few chips, chinks
and dents.
Cradled like a child
in the crook of your
hard working, sinewy arm.
And now I wonder what
made you see what you saw.
And what makes you do
what you do.
Is it the hopelessness
oozing out of the wounds
of a world scarred by men.
Or is it the hope
burning bright in your
relentless heart that
things might yet change.
What is it that makes you
wake up each new morning
and adorn him, now sitting
silently under the neem tree,
with a dot of vermilion,
a shower of flowers and
a drizzle of faith.