Sunday 28 March 2021

To B-Z or not to B-Z, is that even a question?


So this is my 71/2th year, as I withdrew halfway last A-Z.  Way too much going on still -  bereavement upon bereavement, trauma upon trauma, travel for all the wrong reasons, major life changes, pandemic panic. Relentless barrage of issues big and small. Feels awful rough out where I am right now. There's no headspace left over to think themes or schedule or anything, the time for those is long past anyways. And somehow, by some mind boggling coincidence, the badge above is black and sombre and fits right into the overall scheme of things here, so how not to A-Z? But also, how to??


Therefore, this is the somewhat sketchy nonplan this year  - go completely random, write on the day, write whatever comes to mind and as much as is manageable, read as and when feasible, lose the stress, keep on keeping on. In short, pantz it. 

One letter at a time, one word at a time, one day at a time. And maybe I'll get to a slightly less difficult space by the end. 

From the unreal towards the Truth, from darkness towards the Light, from death towards Deathlesssness. Let there be peace everywhere.

Sunday 21 March 2021



It feels just the same – the marble white table,

the smell of stilled laughter under layered dust,

the rickety lamps, the tangle of cables,

the old photo frames in sepia crumbed rust.

The chairs are empty, the frog-like telephone

is no longer there, but old conversations

hang like spider webs. The owners are gone

but their presence lingers in dented cushions,

in pairs of shoes arranged in the shoe rack,

housebound for years now. Vaguely outlined

in spectacle cases, chipped bric-a-brac,

magazine crosswords and hobbies left behind.

Piles of stuff neatly stacked in the cupboards –

the papers, letters - the evidence of words.

Sunday 14 March 2021



Can you get me a garland of white flowers

and also some sandalwood incense please?

I’ve got cotton wicks rolled for my father

a terracotta lamp, reams of memories -

random phrases one after another

a fast spinning medley of layered stories,

and though I can’t speak too clearly this hour

there’s a mind that’s focussed on him, and peace.


There’s no sandalwood and no white garlands

you know that he doesn’t need any of these,

and nor do you need any unstitched garments

nor waters from sacred rivers and seas -

put a match to the wick, and cup your hands,

let the flame burn steady and that’ll be peace.

Chaturthi refers to the fourth day funeral rites, observed by a daughter for her father's soul. My father passed last Sunday. He was a pivotal presence in my life - my safety net and also my alpha reader. He read every poem I ever wrote here.

Rest well now, Baba. Rest in eternal bliss. 

Sunday 7 March 2021

Old hands


I still dream. Of hills of trees. Of banyan mists

and sandstorm suns. Coffeepot clouds thread the day

into its hours one by one. It persists

in see-through layers of chiffon seaspray

wetting my toes. I still dream of tender wrists

from long ago resting on past laps, halfway

between memory, fiction, forgotten myths.


Yes, still dream but can’t recall all the details

except that they were beaded with love, carefree

laidback. They didn’t ask much. They left contrails

of laughter in curtained rooms. They let me be,

weave in and out as I wished, fall and fail

no big deal. They turned pages of poetry.

Picked me up time after time, though old and frail.