I Am Broken

The quietude , I enjoy 
 at home is in peril,

My home and I  synchronize,
 conjoin and live in peace.

At dawn, I hear strange noises,
It is unloading of goods.

I come down, run outdoors,
 a truck with tables and cooking utensils.

I learn that a restaurant is being set up.
 Walking  back in dismay I sit on the steps.

It is going to be hectic day and night,
preparations, serving, billing,

The peace, I enjoyed for such long
 will be lost.. Bless the  next house landlord!

Well, to him revenue is vital, 
no matter from where and how it comes.



A cousin of mine from Singapore
calls at six in the morning, I am
at the main door unlatching, She warns
the mutation of the virus behaves
with a vengeance, Stay home!

I appreciate her concern, but
at the same time the caution
sends an alarm, Unable to go
ahead with the chores, I stand mute.

The sachet containing milk
lies in the basket fastened
to the gate, The newspapers
thrown by the boy remains

The kitchen door is
closed, It is silence, a
frightening one, keeps
me ice cold, numbs my body
My mind draws blank.


That Is How It Goes!

The five mango trees in the garden
 bear hundreds of mangoes 
each one has a different taste.
 sweet, bitter sweet, bitter.

Alphonso, Grape,  Malgoba .
Neelam stand tall  with 
branches spread wide. April
and May see the peak.

 As the fruits are turning yellow
I plan to harvest them.  Krishna,
 my gardener, comes early to pluck 
them with a netted  fruit plucker.

He marches like a hero,
with a head gear dhoti tucked tight, 
climbs  balances on a broad 
branch.  One by one. I cry.

 He brings  them down carefully
 arranges  in a bamboo basket,
 places the neem leaves  over each layer
to facilitate ripening.

Krishna, complains, half of the produce
have been  bitten. Squirrels  and birds 
play a havoc,  Nodding, I  say to myself 
a quarter of them  will be in your bag,   
That is how it is!


Thendayuthapani Temple Teluk Intan

I am at home, sullen and somber  
my mind  rushes to my second  home,  
crosses, intersects, enacts, encounters 
being in the limelight, of the Chitra Pournami
festival, I am addressed as Koil Amma.

I missed last year,  miss  this year too,
unable to fly due to the pandemic.
Visualizing the events of 2019
when my husband was at the helm
 the elaborate rituals, enticing offerings,

the Kavadis and pal kudams.. the feast
devotees with tonsured heads,
the cries arohara  reached the sky.,
I see the pictures of this year. 
which do not reflect  the grandeur.

Ceremonies  turn modest
devotees  are only a handful.
Lord Muruga   stays in his abode
does not  ride round the town
in the silver chariot.

The second wave  in India   
turns catastrophic.  Caged, I am 
 confined to home,  My mind  takes wings, 
travels unmasked to the banks of River Bidor
 where the Thendayuthapani temple stands. 


No Matter The Sun Shines

The sun comes out early 
 unmindful of the curfew,
Shines fierce through the roads
 and streets unconcerned 
of the lockdown.

Follows  the highways,
enters the market
 intercepts the malls
flows into the factories,
An unbridled sway!

None could drive 
 the Sun back home.
The Night comes late
in a light outfit, embraces 
the sky in  a measured tone.

Sun retreats with a sadistic
overture. Looks, as though, 
it plans to come  with renewed 
vigour the next day,  Fear grips,
 exasperation sets in.  


Sani Maha Pradosham

It is Pradosham,
a day which 
Lord Shiva loves,

In the evening, he 
dances between the 
two horns of Nandi.

Pra  means remover dosham 
stands for sins, fasting on this day, 
absolves on of his sins

To please his devotees  between 
4.30 and six in the evening Shiva
 performs the cosmic dance.

Pradosham on Saturdays
 are considered most significant.
Worshipping Lord Shiva

extends positive energy 
 while the negative karmas 
 that limit one’s potential
disappear fast. 

One realizes God and  truth
 the ways to achieve 
peace and contentment,


The Ear Folds

The pencil  stuck right  
on the right ear fold
while the pen occupies 
the left counterpart,
I pull the pencil down. note
the denominations. the pen 
follows  for  the statements.

The ear folds, safe to keep 
the handy ones, as my table
 is messy with papers, bills, 
 books and the lap top.
I do manually first, carry
over while adding and 

  I jot down with the pencil
check, countercheck,
strike, insert,  over write
 with the pencil, indulge   
in erasing some, adding  
a few, finally inking 
the consolidated.

My ear folds start to hurt
turn red, as I hastily 
drag them and harshly
place them back, Most days 
I forget to remove them 
loiter the whole morning
 with them jutting out. 


The Three Circles

A small round for the face,
 a bigger one for the middle,
another medium circle for the torso,
thin lines for hands and legs,
a curve for the mouth 
number three for ears,
handle denotes the nose,
marked by a sharp turn,  
a scribble on the head for  hair
that is how I drew 
as a child  a man 
or woman, man  was 
little long, woman 
 bit round.

I find children at this age 
of  photoshop trace likewise 
with  the fingers moving 
on the key board, the way 
 I did with a sharpened  pencil.
colour with ease, quick  and meticulous 
as against my work those days 
demanding patience and energy
going in even strokes  to achieve 
an uniformity.

Whatever be the mode 
the three circles hold fort
even when technology 
is at zenith . 



Animate And Inanimate

Bang,  my mobile
 comes down.
Luckily, no harm.

My  silver plate while 
washing slips with a  din  
a dent insignificant.

The little  finger stuck in between
the car door gets jammed.
Pain kills,

Stepping on the flowing 
saree, I stumble. My big toe 
remains twisted. 

Aching finger,  twisted toe
 intact mobile,  slightly 
 disfigured plate close the day,
the lifeless and the live juxtaposed.


This Day

Three guests today 
to an otherwise quiet day.
One comes to canvas 
for the election, the others
 seeking help for negotiations. 

 Election is not anything big 
but for an association of a mercantile 
community, Excitement  as seen 
in   his talk and every move
 turns infectious.

 I catch it unknowingly 
discuss with him, question 
him continuously.  After a time
 I realize that I am too nosy,
stop my garrulous talk,

He  gifts me a shawl
along with  fruits. All at once 
prostrates before me, I stand up
knowing not what to do. Dazed ,
 I wish him success.

Wondering how to reciprocate,
 I pull out  a brand new brass plate
 place some flowers,  vilva leaves 
 and lemons, The arrangement 
looks colourful, 

white jasmine  and red hibiscus  flowers,
 green leaves, yellow lemons.  I offer
the plate to him, he falls on his knees 
once again, embarrassed. I move 
away quickly.

lest I stay there for a while 
he would make me uneasy