Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Walk - Part 1

As if hearing my thoughts, a breeze blew, rustling the mauve laden branches and one exquisite flower fell at my feet. The sun and clouds were in a strange decoction, lighting up those parts of the rooms that usually were hidden in the gloom of crowding creepers, dust, cobwebs and age. Rather than scary, the haunted house on St. Marks Road looked so melancholic, so desolated and perspicuous, like a picture drawn from hundred-year-old memory.. I love my daily walk to work.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


The body is a dialogue
a commodity, a story, a narrative
It is a myth, a house of mirth
a canvas of scars, a garbage bag-
tightly holding all the worms within
An assumption, a condition
Angers pushed under its scales
measured in scales. 
At times the body craves to be 
anything but a mechanic
a cosmos
in chaos
in comatose

Photo: A still from Wim Wenders’ amazing, award winning documentary: PINA   Source:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

If You Are Writing One

Don’t corrupt your poem with
messages and morals-
or social commitment;
let it blabber like a forest brook,
sweetly incoherent like the-
wild warbling menagerie
the end in itself, alluring meaninglessness
an exquisite deception-a tingle in the spin-
each brush strokes designed for an involuntary gasp
your eye turning transpicuous
the subtlety unfolding-
a diaphanous reality.

a sea in a drop, the earth in a grain
an eternity in a second
a sonnet in a word.

let it create its own language
voice its protest
declare its freedom
move mountains-
by transforming you
a finer, kinder quietness
pleasurable detachment
infinite euphoria
for art just is.

Picture: Screen shot from Chabrol's Alice or the Last Escapade ( spectacular movie)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saying it.

I write down water, and all the seas
condenses to a single word
I describe wind, and a tempest germinates
between an inky nail and page.
I describe love

a vortex brims  


“...that swimming, sloping, elusive something about the dark-bluish tint of the iris which seemed still to retain the shadows it had absorbed of ancient, fabulous forests where there were more birds than tigers and more fruit than thorns, and where, in some dappled depth, man's mind had been born...” 
― Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory


Call it turbulence
Call it misunderstood
Call it whatever word could define the clutching of ones temples with frantic, trembling fingers
A bleeding gaping wound that seem to breath, expand and germinate
Call it sczhoprenia
Call it a narcissistic reflection
A careful tweaking, shading, blending to create a temporary perfection
Call it a mask, a pastiche 
Call it pretentiousness
Call it sin
Call it life

It exists, it hurts
It hunts, it breeds

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And Through Yellow Eyes: An Ode to Memory

My skin glistens with a pale yellow hue, eyes too full, unbrimming, pen too far, hand unsteady. Words too quiet, the heat too thick for voices to trickle through; another poem evaporated off the golden, fever-skin. I have no measurable sleep, no meal track, yet my skin tells me stories of food, and my eyes of unsleep, of my weeping liver.  My worries are pleated into the musty folds in the air. Bloody hepatitis, another soul-sucking monster on my back draining me slowly, leaving me a feeble, quivering vegetable.  

I seem to have been given a faulty, leaky, unhealthy body to live in. Every six months I am down with some annoying, sometimes life-threatening illness. As a child I remember recovering, as if in a dream, from leptospirosis. I sank and surfaced from a fever that gave birth to this flickering, gauzily giggling, tentacled and winged flocculation of microbial creatures that now live with me inside my head. They keep growing comelier, crazier and somehow more real with every illness.

More sprit-crushing diseases followed and followed me all the way to adulthood, and this year, after barely recovering from my second nasal polypectomy I am down with hepatitis. The usual routine; doctor’s annoying, brisk humour, parent’s worry, the copious amount of blood pulled out of my body for various tests and I am finally left in peace with a bunch of pills and a hot wipe with diluted antiseptic - to recover. Days spent just blinking at the walls that turn watery, misty and then melting off before my flickering eyes.  Everything is hitting my pupil with horrifying clarity. There are either fuzzy yellow blotches or dead bees scattered over the tiled floor. Ants crawling on the floor looking like a crowd from afar. Ants are such an integral part of my adult life, accurately describing life’s utter triteness and its hideous recurring pattern. I wish butter came in shapes of thunder bolts and leaves instead of soft, yellow slabs.

These 5 ‘o’ clocks are so swollen with beauty: the flushed sun brimming over the silver birches and bamboo groves and the crowding nimbus clouds making love to the trembling ground.  Shadows of embryonic thunders that will grow monstrous branches and vein across the sky at night and tomorrow the ground would have given birth to mushrooms, scores of them huddling around mossy rocks and gnarled roots.

From my iron cot, I can see into the depths of the forest, a million, quivering, parting, crowding charmingly insignificant details revealed by every trickling breeze. A dew soaked tendril hugging a branch reaching up, up as the sun’s rays sparkles through the limpid crystal depths of each droplets. A peel of avian laughter echoes within the rippling green depths of the trees and furry feet bound across mossy branches.

Every moment a leaf, a breeze, a thunder or a squirrel rustles, rushes, rumbles and remembers.

Just lying here, looking at the sky filtering through the million libellula-wings, the pealing bark of the silver soon grows beyond the flesh, becomes something porous, transparent, soaking up the stillness and expands wisp by wisp into a dreamscape of greens, silver and blue. I want to become that pale after-taste of purples lingering among wet leaves, the blazing orange definitions seen in pendulous cumulus billows at sunset.  I long to evaporate, expand into this vastness; become everything: the crackles and crunches, chirps and wails, the smells, the vague cloudy depths, the thousand murmurs of leaves whispering to the rain.  

All this lying down in a feverish-stupor doing nothing but swallowing pills and gallons of boiled water has turned me into a being so insanely and desperately living in my memory. Nabokov once stated:   “I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes …”

I am in love with the memory of love which in turn is love itself. And the sharpest memories are the oldest, the first page of the first textbook, the first alphabet feverishly penciled on a four-line notebook, the first friend, the first shared biscuit, and then a shocking myriad of the loveliest memories.

I had one of the most amazing childhood (not a bouncy, fun filled, candy-coloured one) but an introspective, slow, sublime kind of upbringing in a rather quiet neighbourhood which enabled me to really savour the joy of being with myself surrounded by a books, trees, an old, old house (I used to live in a house that was nearly 100 years old) and imaginary friends. But what I keep going back to most of the time is to the memories of my school. A cluster of old buildings, almost like something from a gothic fairy-tale with vast corridors, old labs, spiralling stair-cases and large, large trees with gnarly roots and spreading leaves.The quietest utopia hidden in the heart of a bustling city, the very air there was different, vibrated differently. It was more crystalline, purified, and strangely limpid as if everything was immersed in an infinitely precious, gossamer medium.

Everything was tinged with the aura of a pristine and irrational exquisiteness. And that is what I learnt there, to love, live and celebrate the mellow ululations, subtle convolutions, the minuscule, the illogical but the oh-so achingly prepossessing beauty of ordinariness.

I miss that sense of security that I haven't felt anywhere since. Sometimes I feel that it was all a kind of a transcendental dream. I think nothing else in life since could be compared to those times, I live in the past, clinging to it, and by loving it, it becomes more dazzling until I have arranged it in my head, a tiny sanctuary that I visit more and more often now.

 In my hot delirium I occasionally catch myself joyfully sprinting, skipping over a pebble, a root or a patch of leafy ground running after some vague but alluring giggle, a stirring or a charming mystery that remains tantalizingly unsolved beckoning me from the depths of this indelible, beloved memory.

 There is no misery more agonizing than being in love with love, that malignant, hugely dysfunctional, carcinogenic, drug. That strange thing that gives birth to so many cancerous feelings, eating into one's body, permineralizing it, replacing each cell with something volatile, limpid and effervescent. It’s not about falling in love with an object or a person that you cannot possess, that’s easy; but oh, the misery of falling in love with love itself. The feeling of plummeting into a vortex; the exhilarating heights to which one soars! Love, tremblingly delicate as the thrill of an old violin, toe-curling, teeth-peeling, stomach-churning, tear-inducing; every pain and joy associated with it! One longs to feel it at every waking moment for an eternity and is in distress when s/he can’t feel it. I desperately seek it in the cloud soaked dusks, in moonlight’s embraces, lachrymose dawns, in the gathering storms, in the words of dead authors, in the eyes of dreaming strangers in cafeterias, laughs, ripples, rainbows, verses and vaporous hills… in everything that comes under my spectrum of aesthetics. I want to subsume in its intricacy, evaporate into its undulating caresses, disintegrate molecule by molecule into its translucent mellifluousness. 

I try to create it; delving deep into nostalgia, conjuring it from memories, moments that made me want to die and relive it over and over again, an old sun-lit classroom, a hall filled with the twangs of a guitar, a teacher, a blue tie, a rain, a book, a lost pebble, a postcard, a touch.

Picture: The spiralling stairways of my school. Picture source:

Monday, June 17, 2013

When Feelings Develop Shapes

Consider this, if I could hold each feeling, as physical objects, if every emotion had a singular shape how absurdly remarkable life would be. Grief has the shape of a funeral; a creased shroud and smelt of dank earth. I shall cling to it until I had absorbed its cold hopelessness, its stench of deadness until it loses its significance, grows heavy and useless in my now restless hands and I can then discard it like a torn umbrella flung into the storm by a mad child. 
Perhaps if I could hold what I feel for you in my hand; it would be in the shape of a skull; crudely symbolic, a finality, or a lump of pliable putty that could be mould into any shape. Shall I shape it into a heart and break it? Or into a window and peer within? Perhaps coffin-shaped box or a safe that I can open, curl up inside and lock myself in you forever.

I am afraid of our immeasurability; I look for the dead ends, but all I see is a labyrinth swallowing itself.  

Picture: An afternoon at Pecos, Bangalore.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

In Print

I am back, I am well, the illness has left its memories on me, in the occasional heaviness of my head, the shooting pains in my stomach yet, I am happy.  Two of my poet friends suggested my poems to the editor of a leading literary magazine, Bhashaposhini and newspaper, Malayala Manorama. And thus l have, finally in print, two small poems and one more coming out in The Rapid Eye by the end of May. Writing is a lone journey, its a swinging on an emotional pendulum, from soaring joyful deliriums and dangerous vortexes of dejection. And this is a small drop of pure euphoria. Does a true poet needs validation from a group of anonymous readers? Not really; the act of writing in itself is an act of pleasure. Exploring and experimenting with words and the aesthetic satisfaction. But events like this (a sudden call informing you that someone would like to publish my poem) tells me that there is some practical purpose to this seemingly meaningless, profitless but oh so delightful obsession. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Message From The Other Side

"I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance." - Ogden Nash l. 

Picture: Me at The Oven, Cochin 

My Sacred Grove

The forest near my home, my sacred grove, my inspiration generator, my imaginarium. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The God Wish

You merely half-swallowed the damn fruit;

I ate its seeds of guilt as well.
it remains undigested even today;
growing into a tentacled tumor, 
fertilized by your accusations.

You scaredy-cat! if we had only finished the fruit-
bite by bite, chewing slowly;
imagine where we would have been!
That deeper understanding, the enlightenment,
all the knowledge, that cosmic comprehension-
a perfect ratio, a balanced equation.

But you choked and spluttered
ran away squealing
fear crawling over your spineless bones,
sneaky tattletale!
Fool! don't you know we could have been better gods?

Friday, January 25, 2013

On reading

Sometimes a book just happen to you, it finds you, popping up from an exhibition that you almost didn't go to, from a dusty corner of a college library or a tiny book shop. The flirting is momentary, you know this is the real thing, there is no hesitation. You take it home, its love at first sight ("and ever and ever sight"). Suddenly all your life so far seem so mundane and banal, a new world of mellowness opens, you assimilate it, drown and resurrect in it, live its sublimity, you become the book. Curled up, sprawled over a bed, by the window, under a sheet in torch light, you meet; the book and you. You can’t help it, it is an inevitability. Every time a guest drops in, or you have to leave for work, you swear horribly, because all you want to do is be with it, to be locked in an eternal read with it, a passion that you have never felt for anything else, anyone else. It seems as though you were waiting all your life for this moment, this juncture, this awakening, it is the beginning of a new journey. You realise you can still be happy reading and rereading only this one book for the rest of your life. In love with you, Nabokov for Ada, for that ardor, for Speak, Memory for the universe you showed me. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


joint aches 
"good women don't laugh so much like you do"
tentacle heads
Bend Sinister
Stars in a handful
a reassuring coconut tree
Leaves replacing emotions
Coconut god
leaking boats
brittle loves
forgettable love
loves with prickly skins
loves with exoskeletons
phantom-limbed loves
neurotic loves
loves stored in cocoons
still-born loves
drawing black holes
rustle of the afternoon wind
the ghost near fridge
the sound beyond the wall
it hurts like hell
hot oil splashes
burning nostrils
ink on hands
taste of ink
drawing at night
>Insert love here<
bad meals
prayer beads
the eternally banging window
painful knuckles
the dripping tap
the annoying frogs pulling my hair
the howl of the door knob
dark circles
more bread
fruit flies
“Forgive me”
“You don’t understand”
Alfred Jarry

Monday, January 7, 2013


we fade as humans to each other
and become durations endured-
this day to this day; an argument,
a bundle of experience-
maybe someday, a tale.
who is this I, just a sense of disquiet
and you, an indecipherable language
I struggle to learn your alphabets.