On Dussehra

The bells – they are ringing
in the temples by the river
while in the packed ground,
an arrow leaves its quiver.

Streaking through the air,
it finally finds its mark.
Raavan, with his ten heads,
is brought down at last.

Blazing up with fireworks
lighting the evening skies,
the end of legendary evil
is a really pretty sight.

“Jai Shri Ram! Jai Shri Ram!”
The crowd chants with fervor.
On this night of Dussehra,
Light has conquered the dark.

O children of that glorious Light!
Celebrate Dussehra everyday
with hope winning over despair
and knowledge over ignorance.

O children of all things good!
May this auspicious tenth day
awaken the powers inside you
that will guide you on your way.

The Conundrum

Love – like flames burning
charcoal hearts turning
them into cinders.

Love – like tsunamis crashing
on soul shores turning
them into watery crypts.

Love – like hurricanes blowing
over mind memories turning
them to ghost towns.

Love – like tremors shaking
Atlantean promises turning
them to scattered debris.

Love – leaving a trail of Devastation
or paving the way for Creation?
The conundrum.

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.