Durga Puja

Bright yellow lemons 
 are cut into two, the juice 
 extracted and the seeds  
removed , the pods 
take the shape of  round 

Oil is poured,  thread 
wicks  are placed. lighted at the 
shrine of Durgalakshmi,
Goddess of Victory
synonymous of Kali,
on Tuesdays.

Women  light  the diyas
at Rahukala 3 pm -4.30 pm
recite the powerful mantra

Sarva mangala mangalye 
sive sarvartha sathake  
saranye triyambika
Gauri Narayani Namosthuthe!

Durga and Lemon have 
connections goes the belief.
Prayers drive away negative 
energy and bring peace.


Sweet Sixteen

“It is unusual”, so saying
 I walk towards the door
 to find rains pouring 

The mat in my  porch 
 lies drenched , the cane chairs
 turn wet, the footwear
 are no exception.

Tucking my saree high
 I roll the mat, pull the chairs,
place the shoes  on the steps, 
go about as if I am sixteen.

” Well done”. I applaud 
and walk briskly towards the door
 my knees give way, I land 
on the floor in a crash.

With none around to  put 
me back on foot, I remain 
on the floor for a while
 muster to rise.

I did get up with great effort
dragging my legs I walk in
 my knee tells me softly,
” You are not sixteen”!



Lush black hair
silky and soft.
dangles so pretty
on my shoulders,
enhance the skin colour
granting a charm,
I look fair and young.

Losing little of the dark hue
the hair lacks luster,
still holds an intensity
tied up like a bun
rests quiet on the lower neck
producing a maturity,
I turn responsible,

Black and grey mix
grow dense in no time,
My crown takes the cue
from pepper, solid and crushed,
tends to be sparse at places
proposes a scholarly
appearance all too soon.

Greying rapidly
my hair flutters
in the air like
the waned wings
of an old bird,
bereft of a glow,
“Oldie,” they call me.


There I Go

I sleep every other day,
in the afternoons. In a way 
it is innate coming 
from my mother.

Summer has set in early,
mercury rises unceremoniously,
unmindful of the heat, I rest 
on the plain floor.

Milkman motors through 
the garden, Hoots without 
a stop. Cursing him
I try to rise.

Lo! my head revolves
 eyes rotate ,the ceiling 
comes down, floor 
goes up.

I lie, still, clutching 
the pillow. It lasts 
for a second.  I resume 
my balance and sit up.

The milkman continues 
yelling ” amma, amma”.


A Liar And A Shrew

A squabble
between a wife
and her husband
one abusing the other
verbally and physically.
is the recent talk of the town,

She drives the man out
of his own house, hides his mobile,
behaves atrorcious, starves hi,
spats and screams, engages
in sly innuendos, making
life horrible.

To escape her brutality
he boozes, lies in geometrical
progressions, enters into
illicit relations, ruining
the family and losing
‘credibility in the community.

The children treat him
like a doormat. He nurses
no remorse. Continues to live
as he wishes. The liar
and the shrew part ways.



As a toddler 
I hang around 
in the garden.
 with my siblings.

The garden abounds 
with roses and lilies.
Gorgeous I feel
to be one among them.

Growing up we argue,
 fight, hug  and kiss 
 stop talking, scream 
slap. i being the most docile.

Like a hurricane 
we behave mad. 
The branches snap 
so do we, break the ties. 

Adulthood brings 
both responsibilities
 and  maturity. An end 
to physical  abuse.

Unknowingly i find 
myself away from the troupe.
Like a lonely planet 
I revolve and rotate.

Relatives and friends 
turn to me, It is your 
individuality that hurts
calls one,

The other puts forth, it could 
be your financials,. My jaws fall 
apart, finances? I quip
She asserts, it is.

The last one retorts,
 it is your pride>
Pride! i exclaim
I possess none till now.

I smile though not with ease.
Like a Daffodil swaying in the breeze, 
in  the sweltering heat, I stray 
along crossing none of them.




Overshadowed by dominance
Beena remains docile while growing.
 Her elder sister  plays the pivotal
role, commanding, shouting, pushing 
Beena to the background.

The younger one grows up quietly
 unmindful of her sibling’s 
 powerful personality. The parents
 go with the oldest daughter,
 encouraging  her to the fullest.

Realizing her status much later,
 Beena comes out of the fol,
 sets off on her own. Eyed with 
displeasure by her family, she 
rises up in stature. 

  She distances herself from the roots.
 settles down independently never once 
 turns for love nor seeks her  rightful inheritance
.Amassing her share, her siblings rejoice.
while she lives with pride.


The End

Waves in the ocean
rise up once most
with froth and fury
then fall down
recede to the shore.

The splutter, the splash
the fall down with a thud
are terrific to watch eliciting
fear and awe.

The first wave of the current
pandemic, a mild infection
took wings spread across
the world turning deadly.

Hundreds , thousands, millions
succumb to the new virus
with the world under
lock down.

Gagged mouths, as seen
nowhere and at no time
becomes a common sight,
compulsory rather.

The wave subsides
normalcy returns
not too sure for reasons

The second picks up
with a momentum,
travelling in a
supersonic speed.

A retreat is on the anvil
the panic kills. Hindus would
call it karma and conclude
the [i]Kaliyuga [/i]

will end and with that
mankind will become
extinct. That could
be the end of the world.



Living without legs
I see through imagination
unable to move. mauled
limbs jut out like stumps.

Same as to be sans hands
a disability marked, pick
and take, write and erase
a statehood of constraint

Bereft of eyesight
darkness encompasses
colours remain unknown
figures equally concealed

Loss of smell, good and bad
an impossibility to breathe in
and breathe out, the nose
symbolizes the very existence,

The words kind and rude jump out,
the delicacies that go through,
the mouth keep life ticking,
imagine it being muffled.

So be the lack of brains
converting into dullness heart
ceasing to beat, terminates
the living ending in death,

Struck by the without
calling it a doomsday
I look at the parts in my body,
intact and functioning.


An Anthem

Hail to thee, Oh! legs
the ones who carry me 
bearing all my weight 
making  possible  to move
epitome of resilience.

Namaskar to the hands
those enable a pick 
a drop, a write, 
a push and an embrace  
symbolizing grace .

An applause to the eyes
which see wanted and 
unwanted, picturing 
a caricature of life  and world
synchronizing both.

That be to the nose 
 smells fragrance and foul.
 breathes in and out,
 a systematic exercising 
denoting life.

No lesser comes the mouth
means of expression and of 
sustenance, doing both 
good and bad in words
and intake of food.

The other regions  
not to leave off the brain
and the heart  those 
 that command, act,
 and execute.

An anthem to the body,
a song worthier than 
 six pence, loaded 
 with gratitude  
and love.