An Auto Ride

The hands of the clock move to five,
It’s time for me to get out of the hive.
I rush downstairs to the parking lots
for a ride home in the autorickshaw

The meter’s down; we’re on our way.
And on the road, there’s a lot of traffic.
With a loud honk, a red bus passes by:
the auto brakes – missing a motorbike.

It bumpity bumps over all the potholes
like the little cars at a car-racing show.
Now on the highway, it picks up speed
and I wobble like jelly on the back seat.

Up and down the bridges, we roller coast,
moving in a sea of loud beeps and honks.
O what a ride! What a thrilling ride it is!
In the little auto on the city’s big streets.

Here comes the house and then it ends.
The meter stops and the fare is paid.
Butterflies and prayers are laid to rest as
I look forward to the ride on another day.

The Storm

The night was dark.
The wind did howl.
The streets were empty.
The tramps didn’t prowl.
The sea was wild
with waves so high.
And in the fields
the flowers died.
The sky showered
great big drops
that filled the streets
and lashed tree tops.
The children wailed.
The mothers prayed,
“O Lord save us all
from this rainy hell!”

Rainy Days

Pitter patter fall the drops
from the skies non-stop.
Swift and fast comes the rain.
Clouds are overhead again.

Out come raincoats.
Out come umbrellas.
Out come the gumboots
and brandy from cellars.

Little children on the roads
shout and jump with the toads.
And worried mothers everywhere
cry out, “Come here! Come here!”

An earthy smell is in the air
as snakes and bugs give a scare.
Rivers and waterfalls overflow
and the sky is lit with a rainbow.

Peacocks dance and sing aloud.
All around the mist does shroud.
Brooding hearts sing out again.
Rainy days are here to stay!

Stomach Ache

O dear stomach! O dear stomach!
How much should I give you? How much?
Doughnuts, cakes and sugar lumps,
bread and butter, sweet round plums,
grapes and mangoes – sweet and sour,
cookies and chocolates from the jar,
jam and cheese and wafers too,
little berries – black and blue.
How is it that I eat so much,
yet can never fill you up?
You rumble and rumble and ask for more.
Candies and toffees then I eat by the score,
walnuts, dates and cashewnuts,
oranges, almonds and coconuts,
ice cream, juice and sweet buns,
and above all, huge pie chunks.
And now tell me why do you ache
after from me so much you take?
You make me groan, moan and sigh
and then I feel I’m going to die.
I have to eat food that is boiled;
It’s your fault I’m given castor oil.
O dear stomach! O dear stomach!
How much should I give you? How much?

He

He was like the egret on holi.
Unfazed by the music and colors.
Like the bhaang in the thandai,
he was the reason for the madness.

They swayed to his love songs –
men, women and children alike.
He stole their hearts and souls
with the sounds from his pipe.

They surrounded him on his way
screaming and shouting his name.
The fever raged through the day;
it showed no signs of abating.

Others accused him of sorcery,
and tried very hard to catch him.
But he escaped like the breeze,
for he was like the egret on holi.

The Race

The tracks were set.
The runners in place
while people watched
with bated breaths.

At the loud gunshot,
the racers were off
with fast strides to
beat the ticking clock.

As they reached the
last lap, all of them
rushed ahead and sped
with all their strength.

And then it happened –
The first racer’s fall –
A stumble – it seemed
like he had lost it all.

As he hit the ground,
he felt a hand on his
shoulder, and looked up
to see another racer

who helped him stand
and didn’t leave his side
till they both had crossed
the white finishing line.

Yes, the race was lost,
but he had found a friend.
And later, that day, he asked
him, “Why did you help?”

To which his new comrade
said, “it may seem crazy, yet
I believe – life’s about helping,
And winning isn’t everything.”

Verbs for the New Year

What better time than
the end of the year
to write a little poem –
about verbs, my dears.

And, as Time turns its
pages to a New Year,
these are like the gifts
that will bring you cheer.

Smile – it works like sunshine
Run – a little goes a long way
Read – it gets the mind working
Learn – a new thing every day

Give – to those who don’t have
Share – with those who need
Laugh – it opens up the heart
Sow – seeds grow into trees

Spend – time with loved ones
Count – your blessings everyday
Travel – to a new destination
Eat – keep your health in check

Pray – it’s the divine connection
Play – be wise and also fair
Look – for a light in all situations
Hope – the answers will be there

Dance – with music in your heart
Sing – without any occasions
Write – messages to those afar
Drink – everything in moderation

Breathe – easy and very deep
Speak – be truthful and nice
Love – each and every minute
Live – you only get one life