Sunday, 20 August 2017


Mountains of Mauritius by Mira Boolell Khushiram

Mountains spike the horizon, and I’m still
compelled by those gradients, though I’ve climbed
sudden roadside slopes, sprawling limbs of hills,
the mist enclosed mounds of light and time,
the steep caves in which rivers turn and swill,
churn and chuckle, moult off skins, ice and rime,
and plunge through tight fists of boulders, downhill.
The nests of all change and all paradigms.

Yet they are too far, distance flattens steep
to gentle, and smooths the mist to a thread
of smoke from a dung fired mud stove, that creeps
serpentine into hill roads. And into my head.
Should I turn away? because the seabed’s
less daunting than a scree-sharpened, rougher sweep? 

This is part of a series of on-going collaborations between me and architect-artist Mira. Read more about her and how it all happened here. Thank you Mira, for gracing my walls here with your lovely colours. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Catching up : Write...Edit...Publish...August 2017

It’s time to get back to Write...Edit...Publish... hosted by authors Denise and YolandaPosting a bit early as per host request :) As always, pleased to be back at WEP after a too hectic home leave, still settling down! 

Home leave is just another phrase for reunions of course, catching up with friends and family, after a year in my case. But that’s not what this post's about. I've repurposed an ancient poem of mine for this entry, a villanelle written years ago. 

Often times the lives and the faces we show at reunions preclude the painful, the sad, the not-so-shiny parts of our lives in the interim and that is what these two characters are doing in this piece, hiding the really painful bits. Words to share them are difficult to come by when a friend meets another suddenly after a long time, both parties assume everything is great, and the appearances on social media reinforce that impression. Contradicting those and dealing with the fall out takes huge amounts of courage. How do you tell your best friend at school - who you haven't seen for a couple decades - that your child is an addict, or perhaps your partner is abusive, or your parent has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, or ... ? How do you find the words?

Sometimes we hide things to spare the other party needless pain, sometimes to forget our own, who knows?  "To divert the heart, O Ghalib, this figment is good enough."

Catching up

You don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love,
I too omit a few of my sorrows -
it takes more than just talk to catch up.

We mouth the trivial, chat the smallest stuff -
the monsoon roads, the political lows,
you don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love.

The intervening years have been too rough
but you make sure not a single thing shows.
It takes more than just talk to catch up.

Once one glance at you would be enough -
but vision rarely sharpens as one grows;
you don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love.

I can only see your pearly, opaque cup -
it’s filled or not the glaze doesn’t expose,
it takes more than just talk to catch up.

We're used to dealing with life’s ruthless snubs,
our grief is ours alone, and no-one knows.
You don’t mention you’ve lost someone you love,
it takes more than just talk to catch up.

WC - 160. All feedback welcome. 

Enjoy the other entries here:

Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Rib

You’re my secret tunnel, and its trapdoor -
the small hollows in the wood polished smooth
by my feet and years on the darkened floor,
my failsafe escape from the harshest of truths.
You’re the last port, and the transit en route,
the compass, the pole, earth’s magnetic core.
You’re my rainshine and sundrop, and my pursuit
of happy and hallowed and evermore.

You’re my inner courtyard, and its crack where
a banyan raises its tentative shoot.
You’re home, and wider world, and city squares,
open café terrace, intimate stairs.
You are stillness, and restless, and uproot.
You’re the art in heart, the rib in tribute.

As I'm travelling through the summer/monsoons, my posts are scheduled but I will be checking in as and when I can buy, beg, borrow or steal a net connection :) Have a great week!