It had a shapely bottom

Red and black, striped 

With white

But that was not

The real catch

That sudden little squirt

Of liquid that 

Shocked me was the

Real hero 

Of the moment

When I saw an insect


Will never see the light of the day

Light, fills our days with pretentious innocence. The colour in everything earthly, is Light in costume. But there would be no Light, were there no nights of the pitch Black. The nights are ideas Black inspires- dark, if feared, mysterious if questioned, imperious if wished, but beautiful if loved.

Light is in love with Black- nothing will explain the complete surrender, otherwise. Held by Black, Light has no escape, and seeks none. They lie in wait for the dawn, which is neither Black’s biggest fear, nor is it Light’s permission to leave.

The dawn is their private secret- Light roams the world, colours the rainbow and splashes her show on every eye that will see. Black lazes around with droopy eyed leisure, coating the crows, sticking to the tyres from the roads, posing on broadsheets as newsprint , teasing light in an umbrella and dappling it under the canopy of trees.

The dusk is where the distance gets unbearable. Merging in shades of grey, orange and purple, their lust streaks the twilight sky. They hide and seek in parts, with Light almost always chasing itself into Black’s embrace.  They run through the sea, turning it murky with delight; they paint the sky in patches, like inky blue scattered over and over again; they switch on the stars one by one and make a wish after the first star comes alive.

Their fights, give the world it’s moon. Stamping the sky spread by Black in a single spot of furious, burnished gold, Light falls onto waves of turbulence that Black’s arms cannot contain. Over time and a lot of lapping and coaxing, that stamp wanes while they make up. It reaches its illusory moment of non existence and comes back bright and luminous over another quarrel.

They’ve lived this life a million times over. And it rains when they get head over heels, Light scattering the rain drops the Black clouds drop in joy.

The first time we saw each other after months…it should have had tear-provoking background music and we must have moved in slow motion. But. I was running to catch the bus- the bus, whose driver you were convincing to wait just another minute. “She’s almost here” you must have pleaded with that stranger.

I came, you grabbed my suitcase. I followed you to the seats on the last row you had caught for us. The engine ignited, and the bus moved slowly, like an animal rousing itself from sleep. Seated beside you I sent up a thank you message to…maybe God?

The AC vent blew its cold air straight at you, through its gaping mouth. Its teeth were missing- hence it was an unbridled blast that hit your head. “Let’s switch places,” I say. “The blast will pass just above my head, so it would’t bother me.” You just smiled and declined the offer. I wondered why…

We sat like this, being occasionally watched by a little girl on the same row. She was with her parents and her younger sister, who wore a dress exactly like hers. They got off at Mahabalipuram. We scrambled to their side to lose the blast.

Before us the world had shrunk to heads at different heads, bobbing to private conversation or sleep; to the rectangular windscreen of the bus and it looked like we were at a movie theater, watching a film with a single continuous frame. The windows were a blur, isolating the travelling crowd and letting in Sunshine to inspect our corners and in-betweens.

The yellow town was running towards us…

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I forget you
Till the moment
I remember you
Your face is a haze
Till the night
Brings your dreams
I don’t recall your voice
But I’m shocked by
How similar someone sounds
I don’t remember your absence
Until I remember mine


I believe
Daughters are born
To teach men
How to treat women
For a man with
A daughter
Knows every struggle
That gets born
With the woman
There are animals
Among fathers with
But I’d like to hope
That men become
Gentlemen the day
Their daughters arrive

Birthday Blues

A quarter century ago
I came to this world
Crying and kicking
Maybe it was wisdom
Maybe it was warning
That with every anniversary
The World will love you
A little less
That with every year gone
Life will slip away
A little more
But still, it is a milestone
And I mark mine
With my words.

Statue of Liberty

The sky has turned
Red with sunrise
Blue with sunshine
Grey with clouds
And purple with sunset
I saw the Sun moving
Between my temples
I know the clock hands
Have toiled their way
Through the seconds
I see the World going by
Yet, I remain immovable
Set in stone,
I am the Statue of Liberty.