When I look at any mirror
the face that stares back at me
doesn’t belong to anyone I know…
I’m startled every time, thinking,
who is this and what made those eyes
look so empty and pitiless…
Was it life, was it death, who knows!
May be it was a bit of both…
When I was young there was fondness
and a strange craving for the thrill
to be startled by the unknown face…
But now being old and almost grey
I know, too many surprises
are rather fatal for the heart…
And weight of the darkness
descends upon the weary world;
the urban air is stale and calm;
though the midnight is history,
the morning is still far.
The road lays mostly barren save when
the lorries tumble through the night,
carrying loads and loads of bricks,
for the city to multiply itself.
The dogs that are not fed
are too tired to bark or scout.
And I, in my aimless lingering
pause below a street lamp
crowded by fireflies, thinking
“who goes and for the love of what?”
A hooded rickshaw rolls by in silent laughter;
the sated dogs – yawn,
to my disbelief I hear, “… for food.”
(A dedication to my friend Bindu Babu)
I think I picked up a blister or two,
while walking down a road full of cars –
glaring headlights, blaring horns,
and penetrating eyes of a pimp.
Pretty faces, glowing bright blue and red,
under the neon signs of bazaar.
They seem to have come out of a daily soap –
the one where everyone has someone to love
and no one sleeps hungry.
The mild evening wind blows soothingly
upon my damp cold naked skin. Off-late,
light bulbs have developed a weak halo around them
or maybe I have just overused my glasses.
Later when the road will grow empty
and the dark night will no more be young,
then the wind will bring to life the hidden sounds-
the lullaby tune of the crickets’ song,
the humming of some beetles’ wings –
and I will hear them all around
like music coming out from the moist ground.
My poems are like whispers of a Devil, sublime –
too many cynical words with no decent rhyme,
weaving treason against the emptiness within
your wretched life as hollow as an apparent dream.
Each one is like a fang of my virulent thoughts,
with urgings to see through yourself to find the Naught,
dripping poison of frustration into your blood –
my poems are metered for both your brain and the heart.
I have traveled across the land
from north to south and east to west,
through the fertile plains and rivers,
through the forest and the gentle hills
to ask my fellow country-folks,
if they do love their motherland;
I found no negative reply.
Yet, back home when I tried to sum it up-
the love of hundred and sixty million men,
women and children too- I knew not why
the result was a naught, every time!