Bangalore Monsoon

In the time it took me 
to set the table 
and sit down to lunch-
They tell me it rained on Bangalore.
 
All morning sky matched swatches
to the exact shade of a thunderstorm.
Wind scared the trees
and leaves made a production 
of chasing flowers down the road.
 
And then it’s said to have poured 
straight out of a bottle!
While I set the table- 
plates, glasses, rice and curry-
 
Ghost droplets are said to have fallen
On a tree, on a building, 
on a flying bird, on a speeding car
though none made it to the ground.
 
With the first mouthful I looked around 
eager to enjoy the rains, 
but the road was dry and
the sky was clear
And they told me it had rained on Bangalore.

Puke: A Valid Response?

The validity of a physical retching sensation in response to life and all things it entails.

There are days, many more these days than acceptable, when I lay awake in bed overhearing the tiresome morning sounds of a geriatric household.

The deaf one is shouting at the lost one; he simply stares back, a stoic sculpture of incomprehension.

The authoritarian know-it-all is being himself, snubbing even the lizard under the dining table with derision.

It’s dark. Lovely cool darkness.

It’s early. Too early for me.

Snow Crash.

I am awake, my late-night long forgotten, sleep has slouched away not once complaining of insufficient attention. I want her back. Back in my blanket. As I try to shove my face down into my pillow within the darkness of my blanket, I want her to kiss my eyes back to peaceful oblivion. But she won’t hear of it. She is gone, long gone. I will myself to switch off instead.

Drifting.

In and out.

A throbbing thought loops around my mindspace like a news ticker—I wish I were dead—it’s on repeat. Along with its monotonous drone, unawares to my senses, there is a rising discomfort; now in my throat. I wake up to the realisation that on early mornings like this one, life makes me want to puke.

I don’t mean puke metaphorically or metaphysically. I don’t mean it in a shouting-from-atop-my-literary-high-horse sort of way. I mean the physical response of throwing up when met with highly disagreeable content.

That can’t be normal. Or maybe I just like slow, peaceful mornings. And I don’t remember the last one.

Perfection

The cynicism in my blood cannot deny that I’ve experienced perfection.

The ease with which I can complete his sentences, without a wasted breath, as if it were the same mouth uttering them words.

The balance that keeps my grandparents married has to be Perfection. If she were any less deaf or he blind to her devotion, they would long have battled out of the bedroom.

The blanket that wraps us when Amma matches my curves in sleep. A knowledge that no one else can possess of every cell that shapes me. Because they were her own before me.

The smoke that twirls seductively into my lungs from that distant first drag; lone and potent perfection, your express ticket out of this world.

When the mouse walks straight into the trap, welcoming its death, the time has come for Perfection.

The simplicity that is fish curry, dead fish swimming in their private spiced sea. Its earthiness remembers the sea and I weep for the sea the fish miss.

What else is the column of hollering monsoon that takes me in from the noise in my head if not Perfection?

It was ingenuity that brought me Perfection that I never sought. In a foreign land where English paraded out of mouths and where English was the only language between us, we took to our mother tongues. Tongues, yes plural, different; languages that we did not share. We spoke thus, in two tongues when knowledge, a lost boy, was vying to be found. While our tongues mouthed coherent syllables, our ears replied to senseless mouthfuls thrown at us from the other. Our understanding wasn’t tongue deep. In the ungainly comments we spouted at passersby, we didn’t speak or hear each other. We were being each other. She and I were, in that moment, two friends, perfectly in tune, when no words made  sense and we recognised Perfection.

My Many Aborted Babies

Thoughts hit me in a blinding flash
Of sublime pleasure of knowing it all
In the store room measuring out flour
In the bus looking out of the window

Beautifully strung words strangle
Stunning, choking, numbing
Mind like a mirage beckons
To that elusive paradise

Paralysing in its intensity,
taunting lingers momentary.
Softening into oblivion like suds
Gifting a mélange of glee and gloom

A mesmerising drama of conception
and annihilation;
played out for me by me.
They are my many aborted babies.

I’ve never known bliss
I’ve never known that that was it
But in the numbered moments of reminiscence
I know that this had to be it.

The Name Is Shadow

Seated in the mighty throne
This sun, singularly potent like the other
Giving and taking lives at His will
Fortune and Prosperity mere fair weather friends.

Brave were his choices;
He acknowledged loneliness
Accepted his part of
being understood a tyrant
And played it to perfection.

Alone the emperor performed
In that supreme stage of power
Lone in his decisions which lurked
Faceless and terrible, eluding spotlights.

When clouds of grey showed themselves
He rose-regal and elegant-off his throne
Among the silence that rained down like silk
With his only aide, the name was Shadow.

Freefalling

When I fell from the sky
Air took out Thought with a vengeance.

When she recovered
I was floating.
Ground, an unreal obstacle
Impossibly far like death seems to youth
Spread limbs scare my scream away
And weightless, stretch-
my moments of uncomplication,
As life unties its knots with adrenalin.

I live in that moment
As a heart that beats
An absolute, a perfection
Free of baggage I glide;
To the tune of the earth called Wind.

Where Is My Angel?

As I lay, bound to my easy chair
by threads of rain, too blind;
unable to measure the fullness
of the melting personality glass

I look out of my glass jar
Seamless boundaries are what I see.
Maybe it’s a transparent illusion,
(metaphor: a mirage for the truly thirsty!)
willing to break at the pressure of will.

Continents, dreams, jobs, possibilities-
all hanging by invisible attachments.
Bearings or nooses?
I am too confused to decide.

Glass should be shattered, cataract treated-
Even if only to injure or see.
This life is but one and this time-
I’ll dress up as my own angel.