A Conversation with a Rose

I once met a beautiful Sentimental rose.
It sought no approvals from this world
as it blossomed on a fair summer day
in a sunny rose garden in New Zealand.

With splashes of red on white velvet
petals tucked around a yellow circle,
it garnered the rapt attention of
countless glittering, round dew drops.

Then that evening, dark clouds gathered.
With thunder and rain, the winds battered.
While curled up near the warm fireplace,
my thoughts turned to that rose’s fate.

I woke up to the gleaming morning sun,
walked solemnly to that little rose garden,
and there was that glorious Sentimental
poised gracefully with a few strewn petals!

While some were yet so neatly arranged
with silvery drops shining on their faces.
Our conversation took place in silence as
the rose didn’t speak any other language.

“Your beauty is perfect!” I exclaimed.
“Even though the stormy winds and rain
threatened your very existence last night,
why do you smile, so lovely and bright?”

The rose nodded its head in the breeze.
As if contemplating the answer silently.
Then said, “The storm was unexpected, aye!
But to be your best…always…now that’s life!”

Santa’s Xmas Clause

Soon it’ll be Christmas –
that holiest of days with
carols and celebrations
and gifts under the Trees.

Now before the wish lists
are sent to the North Pole,
and before the stockings
are hung on the mantle,

there is something that
needs your consideration,
something important that
needs your full attention.

So, take a little time
to take a little pause
and truly understand
Santa’s Xmas Clause.

Be kind to everyone
you meet on your way –
your family and friends
and even the strays.

Mind all your manners
and be well behaved.
Listen to your parents
and heed all they say.

Good deeds weigh more.
So being helpful helps.
The weak and the old –
treat them with care.

If you’ve done all these
on each day of the year,
then you’ve earned a visit
from Santa, my dears.

So, be sure to remember
the words above because
these are the terms
of Santa’s Xmas Clause.

Soon it’ll be Christmas
and more than the lights,
it’s the spirit that matters
and keeps our faith alive.

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
makes a really pretty sight.

“Jai Shri Ram! Jai Shri Ram!”
The crowd chants with fervor,
for 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 the Supreme 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 music 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 that become trees

Spend – time with loved ones
Count – your blessings everyday
Travel – to a new destination
Eat – to 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 deeply
Speak – be truthful and nice
Love – each and every minute
Live – you only get one life

The Oyster

A long, long time ago,
at the bottom of the sea,
there lived a little oyster
as blue as he could be.

He hardly ever spoke
and rarely ever smiled
at all the sea folks who
used to pass him by.

“Why are you so glum?”
Said the sea anemone
“Cheer up my little one!”
As she waved gleefully

The oyster didn’t smile
and one could not see
his tears as he sighed
and spoke on ruefully.

“You are so colourful
and look very pretty
with your many arms
moving with the sea.

And the fishes there,
just look at them go
with their bright tails
like twirling rainbows.

While here I am all day
in my drab little shell –
nothing to do and say
and no stories to tell.”

And so the oyster spent
it’s whole life in the sea.
And on one fine, sunny day,
it washed up on the beach.

The girl shouted happily
as she held it in her hands
and showed it to everybody
who had gathered around.

Joy lit up her blue eyes
as they found the pearls.
They said she was lucky
to find such a big oyster-

Who was by now thinking and
smiling at them from Heaven
“I wish I’d known all this time –
my worth- happy I’d have been.”

And so it is dear friends
as plain as truth can be.
Why fret over the reasons?
Trust in Him is all you need.