On These Tracks


‘Doomed Love’ was scribbled on the cover
Of Aeneas and Dido in time torn asunder
Just then a voice joined my morning ride
Cowering behind a cellphone smile.

The journey she had made for him
To take her mind off sordid things
All tangled now in unshakable vows
He was leaving it all for now.

Her voice quivered as she said “Goodbye!”
“Go then, forever”, she cried
The tears I heard but did not see
Her troubles lay bare next to me.

Words didn’t fly off the page again
I said “forget”, only to myself
Life could look better without that love
The one that hurt you so much.

Ring ring ring it did again
“No more, no more” in refrain
Trembling she rose to face it all
Dido among the Delhi winds.


This poem was composed on a cellphone during a 40 minute metro ride.


(S)um of Parts

Life is a sum of experiences but it is also about the decisions you make along the way. What may seem to be your personal prerogatives at the time can affect others in ways you may either choose to ignore or wish away. And these are the things that matter. What you do or decide at a certain point can change the course of other people’s life. Nobody should have the right to do that. While having the power to better someone’s life is the greatest thing, the negative effects of this power should never have existed. Nothing hurts more than other people’s decisions affecting your life adversely. Not being in control can be the worst thing.

When you fall down and hurt yourself, there is the choice of lying there reeling in the pain or getting back right up and moving on. The trouble is, when you push people down and they’re hurt, even if later you can give them a hand to get back up, it doesn’t change the fact that you are also the person who threw them down. So unless the gesture of helping them up alleviates all the pain, they will never really know what all of that meant.

Time, they say, is a great healer. The only difficult thing is to accept that it is not going to be easy. There are years, months, days, minutes and seconds to live through. But then life is after all about the choices you make. When what happens to you seems to be out of your control, the only real choice you have is how you react to it. Mostly there will be times and moments when you will choose what happens to you. But for the times when you’re an actor in a play scripted by others, how you bring out a bit of you to the character is what counts.

Then again…‘tis easy to philosophise about the kaleidoscopic patterns of life.

It takes great courage to live through them.


Inside Out

One need not be a chamber to be haunted, 

One need not be a house; 

The brain has corridors surpassing 

Material place…

Ourself, behind ourself concealed, 

Should startle most; 

Assassin, hid in our apartment,        

Be horror’s least.

– Emily Dickinson


Madrid. Drunk Man - Salvador DaliWhat if one lived in someone’s head, with all the thoughts, memories, fears, prejudices and secrets for company.

The room would often be filled with music, tunes that change every minute, songs that tell stories, words that will never be forgotten.

Mundane thoughts would line the walls, as would faces that belong to another world.

Secrets would flit about trying to hide their true colours, while desperately hoping to be heard.

Doors to memories might stay locked or welcome one on a journey to a different time.

Fear would lurk in corners, shying away from admitting its presence.

Shadows of dark and dreary moods would create patterns on the walls.

Happiness would pay a fleeting visit though it may be the most honoured guest.

Passion would cloak itself as love and play its game of hide-and-seek.

Pain would ask not for sympathy but only for a silent companion.

Dreams would take shape before one’s eyes and tempt one to participate.

Life would lie exposed in all its sundry detail, .expecting only that it not be judged by those who haven’t lived it and asking only that the tenant in one’s head stay faithful till the end.