Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ode to our Chippi

The curtain fell on his act, he departed, his job done.
Not waiting for the applause nor for the standing ovation.
A wobbly speck of white he was into our world that had bounced in
A companion, sibling, pet, a friend, all roles played to perfection.

Still he lay on my lap now, unlike ere, not a twitch,
Not even an eye opening, the tail not wagging, his body limp.
Respite our "Chippi" had alas found from all torture and all pain
The cancer that he could not tame, claimed him and snatched him away.

His darling mango tree now shields him, he sleeps there with all his belongings;
The water mug, his paper ball, his leash, the hair brush and even my wrist band.
Perchance watching us in peace, we had let him go, bade him goodbye,
But memories! they refuse to be kind, haunt me with clock-like regularity.

I see him prancing all over our courtyard with ears pricking
Head cocking, tilting to and fro, wiggling to wedge in closer to us, flaring,
Pressing his pink nose on every inch of ground, zig-zagging,
Leaving pawprints of his love for us, perhaps to comfort us when he is no more.

I see him sharing our beds, our moments of celebration and gloom,
Lifting us from the abyss of despair,
Licking away our tears, exuberant in our joy,
Pleading for just a pat or a big hug from us, his dearest ones.

Now the little fuzzy white ball that we'd cuddled
In spite of the sometimes stinky doghide
Will never jump out from the midst of fallen damp leaves
Or glide through mud and slug-infested gardens in lightning speed

Silent, sick and in agony he had lain
His shiny eyes reflecting gratitude
For our proximity, our care and attention.
Did'nt' we but owe it to him
To be worthy of such devotion
To be loved so unconditionally
To be revered like the Gods?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A weak moment.....

Providence knocked on my neighbor's door
My patience received another deadly blow;
A trickle, a stream, a river, then a flood
My tears came rushing, but seen by none.

Walls of my cage encroached upon me
The little lamp flickered and wavered beside me;
Shadows long and eerie performed before me
A dance so macabre, horror gripped me.

The light fell dead and darkness was born
My senses numb with the ray of hope gone.
"O merciful Lord, who guards us all
Am I not the one fit to be called?

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I do not really recall the occasion, but here was my oh-so-religious mom pulling me up from my dreamy slumber, admonishing me for not keeping my word to visit the local temple in the wee hours of the morning. In order to escape the nonstop nagging from my mom, I scrambled out of bed, rushed to the restroom for a hurried bath, changed in to dry- cleaned clothes, and was very soon on my way to the temple, which was situated at a distance of about 10 km from my residence. Keeping with my new-found preference for austerity (courtesy our union finance minister), I decided to avail the services of the state transport bus to reach my destination.

The bus stop almost presented a scene from a battleground. It was a week day, and the bus stand was swarming with school children loaded with the much-debated rucksacks on their backs, and then of course, the rest of the paraphernalia of umbrellas, raincoats, lunch bags etc.; then there were the college students, the regular office goers, and last but not the least, the vegetable vendors and fisher women with their baskets, all of their necks straining toward the direction in which they anticipated the eagerly-awaited bus to come. To add to all this, was the constant honking of the vehicles passing by splashing dirty water collected in puddles and pot holes from the bout of the heavy downpour that had just stopped. It was now just drizzling, but enough damage to have all buses run annoyingly late had already been done. Wrist watches played mischief by attracting the attention of their owners every other minute. Tempers were slowly beginning to rise.

The crowd grew in size in the twinkling of an eye, and the prospect of me getting into an approaching bus seemed to be more than a Herculean task. Nevertheless, I stood my ground, reminding myself of my resolve for austere measures. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", kept ringing in my ears, and decided that my mode of transport to the temple will not change, and would be the local bus itself.

Someone from the crowd spotted the bus afar, and alerted one and all. For a flash of a second, I was sure that we were in “Kurukshetra” or the battleground, and we were the army of the Pandavas waiting for our commander to yell out an "AKRAMANN" meaning ATTACK," the enemy being the innocent red bus approaching us. The next few moments witnessed a scurry of activity, people shutting their umbrellas,(some of the umbrellas stubbornly refusing to obey their masters) the vendors hurrying to adjust their baskets on their heads, each and every one jostling and rushing to place themselves in vantage positions to not only enter the bus, but to also grab a seat depending on their respective expertise, an ideal example of the theory of the origin of species, i.e. survival of the fittest!!!!

Interestingly, I for one, did not need to do much, thanks to my small size, I guess. Amidst all the commotion, I found myself pushed and pulled, some falling child even grabbed my hair, I suppose, but there was no time to retaliate or to even feel the pain, as in a jiffy, I was lifted into the bus by unknown hands and bodies, and for a few breathtaking moments, even held suspended in mid air ....I thought the wait would never end…when THUD…All of s sudden, I crash-landed violently, but miraculously on a seat, wherein by the time I could gather my wits, I found myself being loaded with heavy sack like school bags one after another, the kids not even bothering to politely request me to hold it for them while they struggled to maintain at least a decent standing position. Good manners? Save it for some other time lady, was the look they gave me.. A minute later I found myself to be the custodian of God alone knows how many bags, wet and dripping umbrellas, raincoats, T-scales of the Engineering college students, so much so the only portion of my body visible to the outside world were my pair of eyes, which begged and pleaded to those closing in on me to have pity on the human life underneath this huge pile. The chaos and commotion continued. People were screaming and shouting at each other. The bus conductor looked like he had just come out of World War II with all his hair standing out in all 4 directions. He seemed genuinely thankful that he still had his clothes on his torso. The drizzle did little to cool tempers, which refused to stop rising.

Someone accidentally hit the bell, and fortunately for me the driver took it as a cue from the conductor to resume the journey. Phew!!!...so we were finally moving. I told myself another 15 minutes and I would probably be out of danger from death out of suffocation. The roads were all slippery due to the rains, and it was traffic jams galore. The bus moved at a snail's pace, brakes were pressed after every 5 minutes, and I was now beginning to shiver under this pile of wet umbrellas and raincoats. My head kept banging against the seat every time the brakes were pulled and my poor little nose, I could give the Japanese some real tough competition!!! But I desperately tried to think positive ..,I consoled myself, may be I would be in a position to match Himesh Reshammiya with my nasal droony voice.and yeah…do a duet with him!!!!WOW…how wild can imaginations fly….well, blame it on the circumstances 

Anyways, the junction adjacent to the school was approaching, so I gathered from the banter of the children. Thanked God for gifting us with ‘ears” to hear, my eyes were denied its ability to actually function even though they were wide open. Anyways, I knew relief was not very far. Almost three-fourths of the crowd comprised of school children, all of them now in readiness to alight at the next stop. As the bus screeched to a halt, there was another scramble….this time, to unload the stuff on me….Some grabbed the bags, the others their umbrellas, the T-scales, some of which got entangled…and then the struggle to disentangle them. When the last item on my lap was finally retrieved and most of the crowd had gotten off, I straightened myself and readjusted my hair, which resembled that of a ruffled bird's nest, and began to make myself comfortable. Yes I also smacked my nose back to position, hmm, the damage was not irreversible. It was then that I noticed one more umbrella on my lap. Some little child had forgotten her/his umbrella….it was raining…the bus had begun to move…I looked out of the window and saw this puny school girl in uniform looking up at me…Without any hesitation, and with the confidence of a seasoned cricketer, I lifted the umbrella and threw it out of the window to the little girl, all in lightning speed.…..I am sure even Jonty Rhodes could not have made such a precise throw ever in his cricketing career ….the bus had by now picked up speed and was well on its way….the last I saw of that girl was her running to pick the umbrella with this very confused look in her face oscillating between me and the umbrella. I sat back once again in my seat so content with the world….This was my good deed for the day….I had returned an umbrella to a child who otherwise would have been punished by parents at home for losing it, or by the school authorities for coming in soaking wet. I was so pleased and proud of myself…Poor girl…she would have been so miserable, but for me…I had something good to jot down in my diary tonight.

As the bus meandered its way through the busy road once again, an uncomfortable feeling of something amiss crept into me….Am I missing the crowd or the sweet heaviness of all those stuff on me?. Or am I just euphoric because of the good deed accomplished?. The place where I needed to alight was nearing, there was no time to ruminate, and now it was my turn to prepare myself to alight, but there definitely was something missing…I had my purse in hand….but there was an additional item in my hand I remembered vividly while leaving home.….Yes…it flashed back…mom had hurriedly pushed an umbrella into my hand while leaving… It was missing now…..I frantically looked for it, around me, behind my seat, in front of my seat, underneath my seat, went down in all fours....but could not find it…..GOSH!!!!!Realization only then dawned on me.... I HAD THROWN OFF MY OWN UMBRELLA TO THE LITTLE GIRL IN ALL THE COMMOTION ….and that explained the confused look in the child's face and who had no way to reach out to me as the bus had already moved away….

My co-passengers very kindly enquired as to what I was looking for….Surely, I could not explain that I had foolishly thrown off my own umbrella out of the window!!!... I could not afford to present myself as such a dumb nitwit, could I?…So I just sheepishly smiled, shrugged my shoulders and mumbled "Oh, I am alright, just checking whether I have all my belongings intact". The bus stopped near the temple and I got off it minus umbrella plus anxiety as to what explanation I was to give my mom….The first thing I asked God when I entered the temple was " Oh Lord, why me????

Dedicated to my very dear friends at M-Squared, Thiruvanathapuram - Sowmini, Deepa, Molly, Reena, Sankar, Manish, and Suresh who never tire of pulling my legs since this episode and consider this just one of the many blunders that adorn my long list. :))

Friday, May 14, 2010

A plea...

When I am gone and no more
My voice unheard, my image a vision
Whence all that I 'd' have left behind
Would be objects that have no life
Let those then that bring memories
Back, be strewn deep, deep
Into the valley of darkness
Not touched by daylight nor
by shining stars; Away from
Civilization; lest remembrances stir
Kind souls of a life worthless
At times burdensome, and at others
Pain inflicting, let not a tear
Be shed for a serviceless life.
A relieving thought it 'd' be then
That If cheer in life
I did not spread, sorrow
I brought to none in death.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Do you hear those faint footsteps
Of distant and of light feet? No?
Listen carefully..Now, do you hear?
They touch my ears, softly at first
Then come closer and still closer
Until their sounds reverberate
Like beating drums and blowing trumpets;
When all of a sudden, on the doors of my heart
A gentle knock I hear.
Suspicious mind of mine restricts my freedom
To act fast - Smell of danger?.
Precious moments lost in doubt
"Who is it?" I call out hesitantly
Silence whispers back;

Desperately I looked around
No man nor angel I ever found
A queer sense of loss
I wait with eyes shut fast and abated breath
In expectation of those footsteps and the mysterious rap
Realization dawns of an opportunity lost.
My disturbed mind pleaded in vain
Knock!,O stranger, knock; Knock once more;
Give me another chance,just one more
To answer you faster and doubt no more
To welcome the hope that you bring
Into the depths of my heart
O stranger, I pray you come once more
Thaw the ice betwixt me and my life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Words..



Misled By





Thursday, April 15, 2010

A passing thought....

The streets of the dark
Winter night cradled
Sleeping bodies huddled
Close, close as ants
On an ant-hill seeking
Warmth from the proximity
Of each other's thinly clad
Forms and figures
The misty air meandered
Through the pavements gray
Compelling the little urchins
To embrace their limbs
Tighttly to their bony chests
Tossing, Turning, Shivering
Man, woman, dog and cat
All resting on the
Same bed of earth
Sharing a bond intimate
'Cause they were drowning
Together in the same
Whirlpool of life.
Strruggling for survival
Yet as the night matures
And the silhouttes on the
Tower deepens, the features
On those sleeping faces
Sinking into a celestial abysss
Reflect the serenity of
The waters of heavenly rivers
The silent water not lapping
And not a ripple circling
Reins of their thoughts uncontrolled
By their wandering minds
That refuse to welcome
Sleep; It dritfs..drifts
Journeys far away, beyond
the starry roof over
Their heads, to step
Into the fantasy land
Where the sun never sets
The light never fades
Where the flora is rich
And fauna are gay
Where sorrow is unknown
Hunger a stranger
Winter is forbidden
And Spring is forever.