Category Archives: Poetry

Seashell

He picked up the phone and I picked up a seashell

And came to him the crashing waves

The ocean mist, so hard to resist

And the silence of the setting sun.

 

He gasped, “Why is it, why is it

That whenever I speak to you, I hear

The notes of the sea, the whispering of a tree

Or the gentle hooves of reindeer?”

 

“Are you always traversing a forest?” he asked,

“Or dancing on the seashore

Or lying back on hay, or, shall I dare say

Flying through blue’s entire lure?”

 

“No,” I smiled,

“This is where I live.”

Words

Let me share with you a few things

I have learnt over the years, little one

Let me lend you a few words

Of wisdom

I can see you’re listening, bewildered

Your eyes wide with curiosity and confusion.

 

It’s ok

If you don’t understand everything right now

It’s ok if you forget the moment

You’re done listening

I don’t want you to dwell too much

On what I say, anyway.

 

It will hit you when the time is right for you

It will hit you when you need it the most

The words will come pouring back in

Like ripples washing over a thirsty shore.

 

And you’ll know what it had all meant

You’ll know what it means to you, now.

The Waterbakery

If you come looking for me
I will be sitting by the corner
Blowing bubbles, and floating away
With them

I will be glowing like the glinting ocean
Under a full moon sky
I will be whispering to the breeze caught in
The branches of timeless trees
I will be singing lullabies to babies
In their tiny silver cocoons
Cradling them to sleep.

If you come looking for me in the child
Then it is in the mother that you will find me.

If you come looking for me
I will be in the little brick house
Sifting between shades of cherry red and a very plum pink
I will be sitting by the golden fireplace
Baking water

If you play the tambourine to call out to me
You will find my silhouette swaying against the light
But when you come to speak to me, you’ll see
That I’m no longer there.

If you come looking for me in a moment
You will find me lost somewhere in ephemerality.

If you come looking for me in my words
You will not succeed
Because as soon as you touch them
They will vanish

Soon, these words will fade into paintings
Soon, these rhymes will take the shape of abstract forms
Soon, these adjectives will become colours
And the verbs, textures

If you come to find me in a book
Then as you open it, the pages
Will tear themselves up and drift away
And the letters will dance in the air
Like birds in a formation

Soon, this stream of consciousness will flow into
And become
A steam of unconsciousness.

It is then that the water would have truly been baked
It is then that I will know it’s ok
To be gone.

Text message

When he sends a text saying, ‘I miss you’
And it seems a bit out of the blue
For you have errands to run or dishes to wash
You have oh so many things to do.

Don’t just reply with a smiley face
Don’t just smile and be done with it
Take a break from this independent woman lifestyle
Take a break from all this being strong.

Put it aside for a while, let it simmer and brew
Let it do wild, crazy things to you
Let it swivel and swerve till you muster the love
To say, ‘Aww, I miss you too.’

The Indian Bride

Baby, don’t cry tonight
It’s your wedding tomorrow, and you don’t want puffy eyes.

Glowing lips and a golden lehenga
You’re the star
The star for one full day
The star among marigolds and reds and flowy silks
Just not the star of your own life.

Baby, don’t cry tonight
It’s your wedding tomorrow, and you don’t want puffy eyes.

Take a train, catch a plane
Call a cab, call a boat
Get onto an elephant and off you go.

Study abroad
Fall in love
Fall in love while all in love
Break hearts, heartbreaks
Make mistakes
There’s always tomorrow to learn from them.

Grow together, grow, grow
Love each other, more and more
Let him bring you coffee
Let him steal a kiss
Let him hold your hand
Till you can bet the skies that he’s the one for you
And all such silly, unfulfilled dreams.

Baby, don’t cry tonight
It’s your wedding tomorrow, and you don’t want puffy eyes.

Tomorrow, you will become a woman
A strong, heady, hearty woman
Soon, you’ll be pregnant,
Soon, you’ll have children
You will be a woman, truly.

But don’t you wish you’d taken the time
To become a woman and then get married
Rather than the other way around?

Baby, don’t cry tonight
It’s your wedding tomorrow, and you don’t want puffy eyes.

What do you mean…

What do you mean, you didn’t get what you deserve?
Tell me, do you even know what you deserve?
Do you know yourself enough to know what you deserve?
And if so, why did you settle for something so, so little?

What do you mean, you didn’t get what you asked for?
Tell me, did you ask for it?
And if you did, and you didn’t get it
Why didn’t you scream and shout and make sure the skies fell for it?

What do you mean, you never knew?
This morning, as I was opening my silver car in a posh Delhi neighbourhood
I overheard the overbearing, screechingly painful yelling of an old man
Coming from somewhere in a nearby ‘home’.

What do you mean, you didn’t get what you deserve?
Don’t you know, as a woman in present-day middle-class India,
You don’t just get what you deserve –
You have to work very, very hard towards getting it.