Full Moon

I looked at the full moon from the flight’s window.

The moonlight was shimmering all over the clouds.

The pilot made an announcement about the turbulence.

A turbulence which was temporary. I hope all the turbulences are.

Even the one in my head, which I have been trying to fend away for a long time now.

My thoughts have always revolved around her.

Even now they do. Not romantically. Not with a longing to come back together.

I don’t know how to explain this. I think of her. The old incidents. And trying to make out if she was what everyone thinks of her.

Or what I used to think of her.

But I always had the bias for the ones I loved.

I will keep this one fruit hanging as of now.

It’s not that ripe. Let’s give it some more time.

Till then I would just look at the full moon.

And the light all around me.

Life is good. Or is it? You tell me.

The Storm

He thought the storm had settled down,
And normalcy restored.
Only to discover that turbulence is permanent,
And essential, to some extent.

The lightning struck on an important day.
The day that used to be important.
But not anymore. The day has lost its meaning.
Like so many things around.
It has become a farce.
A fancy painting in a mirage.

The canvas laughed at him.
At his helplessness.
And he kept looking at the illusion.
The storm that was now brewing in the painting.
A storm that he thought had settled down.

The Times

The squirrels have deserted the place. The stripes are nowhere to be seen.
The parrots have gone too. Such irritants they were. I liked sparrows more. But they have left as well.
The night has engulfed me like a blanket. Crickets are chirping all around me. They have stayed. They always stay. I wish I was as indifferent as they are.
The night is very still. I look up at the sky. I see the Moon smiling at me.
“You tried your best”, he said to me.
“Will you stay with me?”, I asked
“Till the end”, the moon assured me.

The days have been too cold and lonely. I looked at the fire. This is the last fire I have. Last fire from my last tree.

The tree is gone. Squirrels are not going to come back. Birds don’t want to do anything with me. What could I have done different? I looked at the axe lying next to me. You are the last possession I have, I said. And just like everything else, I will have to let you go too.

I see the flames going up as I put the axe into it. This will last for few minutes before the cold consumes me, I thought. I am going to sleep. May be I will find squirrels in the place I am going to. May be it will be warmer there. Maybe.

I miss my trees. I burnt them all. Could I have done anything different? I do not know.

Grandmother, tell me another story

Passing between lips, an ancestry reminiscent of
the chewed betel-nut grandmother transmitted
from recesses of her stained teeth onto palm of an
unlettered hand And again to my mouth.

Many years later I found myself teaching tradition
handed down by word of mouth. A cane basket we
put our socks in was stuffed with her stories.

It suddenly became a nest and
I flew with unknown birds, giddy and half asleep
seeking blankets of cloud in the maize field of the
mythical cat who sometimes ploughed the sky.



The cane basket disappeared when
a wooden cabinet took up residence
in our three-room house. Socks found a nest
and I began writing
the first few letters of the alphabet.

Myiem, where my ancestors prayed for their
deliverance from bitter winter,
where they wrestled with earth and stone
to script remembrances.

Today, lost and approaching fifty,
surrounded and imprisoned by books,
I sometimes murmur a prayer:
“Grandmother, tell me another story”



– I read this poem in the village of Nongriat, Meghalaya. These words took me back to my village of Ghazipur. The days when stories were an integral part of our life. Why did we stop telling stories?I could not find this poem online. I am looking for this book – Do let me know if you know this book. Thanks.

Morning Star

Morning Star.

He bids the Moon goodbye and greets the first rays of the Sun.

How does he take the change?
I guess not very well.

But he knows the cycle. They will meet again, only to be separated. Again and again. Followed by yet another long wait.

Endless cycle. Endless pain.
The promise to never leave again.
But all in vain.

The Moon and Star’s meeting. Is it destiny?

I refuse to believe so. I believe it is for a purpose. Everything is. Everything fits this plan.

Evening is the time Nature plays with colors. The colors it has been splattering across the canvas throughout the day. And now it’s time for a final stroke.

And I just sit here and watch.
So does the Morning Star.
For it can see its lover once again.