My Brother And I

With red jeans and pink shirt.
 a go go glasses .a pony tail 
dangling  I walk into the classroom 
of my elder brother with my mother.

He is not  a hardworking chap,
 lazy and takes life easy, his reports 
 speak of his achievements, mom 
is worried .

His class mates call out to me
while my brother shoves his face 
into his hands as if feeling shy 
to look at me,  

Mom departs in no good mood,
scowls at my brother, who hides
his face, then as mom hurries 
 pouts his lips,  makes faces at me

Back home. I ask him the reason
 for his behaviour,  He growls,
“your dress was a misfit, clownish
 you looked”. I break down, run to  mother.

Mom takes me in her arms,
 shouts at my brother, making him 
even more uncomfortable, 
as mother turns, he looks daggers.



Kundrakudi, a sleepy town deep down South India,
wakes up to the call of the devotees,
reverberates with bhakthi during Karthigai
days between mid November and mid December.

Lord Muruga,   as he is familiarly addressed,
reigns supreme  atop the hills.
 Families go up the hills, climbing 200 steps
  to pray, do archanas conduct abhishekams,

The priests  do  by pouring milk, curd,  honey 
coconut water, fruit juices, water,  each one 
for reasons to appease God and secure 
the prescribed  benefits. 

Milk for health, curd  blesses one with healthy children, 
honey bestows  sweet voice and temper, coconut water 
wards off greediness, fruit juices extend contentment, 
while  plain water  purifies the soul.

Having accomplished the rituals 
they come  down, serve food  to the
andis  connoting to those who have 
renounced worldly desires, The lunch 
 commences with the invocation to Lord,

” Nama Parvathi bhaje hei,
hara hara Mahadeva”

It is how we live associating 
the self with the infinity, 
looking beyond the mundane, 
aiming to merge with the Supreme.

Annadhanam—Offering of food.


Namo Narayana

After months my carpenter walks in.
Exhausted and dull, anger 
writ large on his face.

He sits on the steps, groans
 and calls Gods fraud,  dubs 
religion as fake, Do not believe 
them anymore, amma.

 His voice gets choked. I try to
pacify him but he seems 
not to hear my words.

 In every street corner, each junction
one finds  a temple in Indian towns 
and cities. Passersby remove 
the shoes, ring the bell

break coconuts, light  oil lamps,
offer flowers, worship the deities,
go round the temple thrice
all  in good faith.

The Gods, they feel, whoever
 they may be, Ganesha, Krishna,
 Shiva or Parvathi, have let  down 
  the believers very badly during this crisis.

I start thinking and slowly move 
to his  pace, admitting Gods 
have forsaken  the devotees
 landing us in a pandemic.

He takes leave, climbs down the steps,
 chanting,  Narayana, Namo Narayana.


Six No Five

The five sandalwood bottles 
seen in the almirah 
after  dad’s death,

Dad fathered six  but always 
five came to the forefront while 
alive and remain so after his death.

A long standing staff of dad
 participates in the division
 where mom involves 

with articulation saying 
she requires precision, 
emphasizes on fair partition,

if one gets less, she compensates 
by buying the deficiency 
the five turn happy.

The staff hesitantly asks mother,
 what about the sixth one? Her share?
 She warns him to be quiet.

Wiping his moist eyes,
 he walks to me. makes gestures,
 being not able to talk,

one he is emotionally choked.
other  the instruction from mother,
keeps his tongue tied 

Pacifying him in sign language, i
point out to the  bottles which father has left, 
significant  of his intentions. The man counts,

Not the sixth child in order, 
but the fourth, I smile 
at times my lips taste salty.


Rice To The Crow

A little rice for the crow
 every afternoon,
I caw high and low 
calling  them to partake.

They fly down 
 as soon as they hear me. 
 peck the rice along ‘with 
the veggies,

squirrels follow them,
 mynahs wait for their turn
 a banquet held in the corridor 
that conjoin the garden.

I stay a little away 
watching each one of them
 chattering gibberish,  crows 
clean up the mess and depart.

 The ritual is synonymous  
of the ancestors  participation
 in the daily events,  deemed 
as an acknowledgement by the progeny. 

Deriving strength from mythological 
allusions and beliefs I  keep going .
 on smoothened pastures and roughened 
 terrains with facility and felicity.



It is a quarrel among siblings
not ten or twelve years of age.
 between the ones in their sixties, 
a few of them  seventy and above,

It is not for a chocolate or ice cream, 
but for  dearer ones  properties ,
jewellery, funds, ranging from 
thousands to millions,

Fighting like children these seniors shout, 
even go to the level of beating each other
 a bit too much, forgetting their years
 and their mobility,

Referring their case to another 
who has amassed the entire ‘wealth 
by deceiving his sibling , the veterans
await the outcome,

Deciphering  an ironical  semblance 
to the symbol of justice where 
the lady is blindfolded, I stand to see
the children as they start playing 
forgetting the differences.


Did I Do Anything Wrong?

Commercial transactions 
in the office. I view the traffic  
from home a few meters away.

Disallowed to enter the premises
 I manage to enter once in a way.
 MR, Luff, the plantation agent,

is busy drawing out the schedules,
I watch him  through the glassed 

A white  rod like one between his lips
exhibits a red cinder at the butt 
white fumes come as he puffs.

the fumes travel in waves, 
 Amused I  run  back home,
spread  white talcum powder, 

on a thick paper, roll it tight 
relax in a sofa on the aisle,
put my legs over the other

as MR Luff,  place the roll 
 between my lips. puff hard

 pushing the powder 
“success”, I shout  as the white fumes 
emanate. dad stops by,

pulls  the roll, throws it in the bin,
Warns  me not to do this again,
 Why? What did I do? I sob.



I wake up  
to the dominance
of Silence.

What has happened to the crows?
 Why are they not up?
 The cawing is not heard. 

Where have the squirrels gone?
 Those which cross, dash, run, as though
deployed  for essential errands,

By the way, what about those dogs?
 who howl at  and chase 
the most frivolous targets.

Lo! the walkers who move smart
stretching the arms, folding their legs
 akin to a circus man, are nowhere.

Sitting on the steps I wait,
 Nothing,  really nothing 
takes place.

Did I wake up early?
 I consult my companion, 
my smart phone.

It says 2.30 in the morning.


This Day

I hear the sound of rains
once when I woke up
continues till the time 
with a gentle  pour,
not very harsh 
 nor anyway light.

 I am unable to see the bright 
cheerful sun as like every day
a seemingly dark light 
focuses on the exterior 
the intensity being very thick 
 lights have to be switched 
on to the full to increase visibility.

Remaining inside listening
to the noise of the rains
 I could find nothing 
better than lie on the bed 
staring at the ceiling 
while my mind travels 
across the continents.

traversing mountains and seas,
experiencing the  time zones
interacting with people 
of varied cultures, a vivid 
show the mind extends
being a powerful distractor 
of the reality in encompassed virtues.



Come Sundays, we rejoice,
food served during 
breakfast and lunch,
not much of dinner.

Would be sambar bath ,
with papad, plain rice
 with avial and chips.
payasam in the run. 
all too much to eat 
but we did till we 
licked our fingers dry.

With the retinue of chefs
 helpers,  who were excellent 
food technicians, the execution 
was perfect, one which I retrospect
with a fall back. Where have 
all of them gone? Has their tribe 
got extinct?

 with the maid 
 I am having. 
am able to prepare 
the very basic ones.
however much I teach her
 she makes a mess of the whole 
 turns them  insipid and taste.

Years of  rich gourmet 
have spoilt me, I crave
for the delicacies. which 
seem unattainable,