Monday 27 November 2023

Don't Have a Thing to Wear


Screenshot from the Guardian this morning. Spike in hate crimes in India as well. 

Should I tell my children not to wear a scarf? –

be it chequered black or otherwise,

the public seems to have stoppered its heart

and some people have hate in their eyes.

Should I tell my sons what to wear and when,

should they for now strictly shun the hoodie?

The governments link crime with clothes and skin

the police and the public seem moody.


Should my old father give up his upaveet,

and my old friend stop wearing his skull cap?

The powers see the world in black and white

and paint in splotches of red on the map.


Sunday 12 November 2023

Diwali 2023


Some day you'll go back there - where you came from.

Some day the whirling will stop, you'll go back home.

When autumn comes round you'll put up the lights -

a hundred small teardrop flames burning bright.

So from place to place. From one home to the next

till the loop's closed and fates have nothing more left.

Yet now that you're back where you started out from

something about it doesn't quite feel like home.

The trees have grown gnarled beside the straight, wide road.

Some things have toppled. Some spaces have narrowed. 

The main landmarks of the city still stand.

But you've changed. So has the lie of the land.

For there's no coming back to rekindle flames,

no Diwali night will ever be the same.

Once the hometown's left it stops being home,

there's no coming back to where you start out from. 

Shubho Kalipujo/Happy Diwali to you and yours if you are celebrating, and happy autumn/spring if you're not.

Sunday 5 November 2023



Screenshot from The Guardian, 05.11.2023.

I’m thankful you’re not in a war zone.

That our troubles, though quite sufficient

don’t include that brand of violent –

they’re lower key, more mundane in tone.

I’m so glad you’re not in a war zone.


Though to be honest, the ones who are

don’t seem to be altogether foreign -

their sorrow’s a long familiar cadence

and half my own, the distance not too far.

We think we are not them, but we are.