A Long Call

a short-circuit of reality
and fantasy, says she
is the state of schizophrenia
who will want to touch it
when looking towards it even
brings tears to beautiful eyes

it could only be a celestine intervention
that she calls in between
and what i hear and don’t understand
about myself, quietly silences words.
in a frenzy, a jolt of schizophrenia
and my first poem ever, unfinished…

A Long Call

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,
This is not a poem
Nor is it a story
It is something about you and me.
I am just putting it down
so that you know
In case I have ever failed to mention
How much I love you.

Where do I start?
The day you told me what a vestibule is
and showed me a betel-nut tree
from the train going to Bhubaneshwar
Or from that day
Walking down Madame Cama road
Introducing me to the life and spirit of Bombay
Showing me that rhombus
Atop a local train
Telling me that is called a pantograph.
I have advocated and patronised these words
And I never saw their meanings in a dictionary
You have been my best teacher.
I’ll never make a mistake in long-division.
Today more than two-thirds of my body
leans out of a local train
You even taught me that.
You never taught me history
geography, biology, or civics.
But I learnt of culture from you.
I learned to respect. You taught me humility.
You’ve hated my travelling in a cab
Not that you always travelled by a bus
You always wake up early
And want me to do the same
You have demanded the most out of me
And you’ve liked it when
I worked hard, putting in late nights.
You accepted that I was a grown up
Still wanting me to be complete
Like you.
The complete man
String and weak
Confident and meek
Shameful yet shameless
Faulty yet flawless.
And I never came to know, when
you became my friend
We drank together
Smoked together
You took my cigarettes
I stole yours
Though, I still don’t like your brand
We;ve shared sad times
Tried reading between the lines
Laughed together, carefree
You brought me newspapers
you didn’t read or see
Such a wonderful relationship
How can it be?
I learnt to be immaculate
When I saw you covering my school notebooks
And I know why trains don’t slip from their rails
and how gears work.
My first flight
fastening the seatbelt.

Teach me one more thing
How does one get a father like you
A father
who taught in absence
who taught by experience
who taught of pain and hurt
A father
Who was seldom available
but was always there

Who can go through the pain
of seeing his son
getting hurt as he grows.

Where does one get such a father?
How does one get such a father?
YOu’ve slapped me because I didn’t study
You’ve kept awake because I was not well.

People ask for father figures
But I have a father friend
And since such people are few
I wish I always have a father like you.

Dear Dad

Taper of Hope

High on the cliff
of today
Glancing below at the abyss
of yesterday
Face to face, I stood with the ebony
of tomorrow.
Can’t retreat
because
I was surrounded
by fiendish facts
Pounding on me
their implications and consequences
Then
and there.
Then, that glow
That glimmer that
you are
brought me hope
Shining and penetrating
transfixing my soul.
You came late
but
What is time
if not the count of incidents
In that taper of hope
I saw your eyes
In your eyes
I saw sunlight
In the sunlight
I saw my future

With you

forever

forever.

Taper of Hope

The Hill Remains the Same

There upon the peak
The time of the then
Here, down, time of now.
Up, I see trees swinging
Playing with the winds.
The moment here is frozen.

Once, we ascended with ease
Now, each simple step
A struggle of a lifetime.
The hill remains the same,
We change. Lost destinations,
and mistaken journeys.

*

Inspired in no small measure by “It’s All Uphill Now

The Hill Remains the Same

I Want to Be the King

For I could never be king
Though I stepped out of the shadows
Of those, who faced the sun straight
The spread of that shadow always enveloped me
And even if I showed my face
I could never be king.

For I could never be king
Not then, not now
A friend of the king perhaps
Or even next in line
But I wasn’t even a kingmaker,
I could never be king.

For I could never be king
And I know I never will be
I will kick your throne, and
Poke your crown
And spit in your wake, for
I could never be king.

For I could never be king
I detest your kingship
I see myself in you
But you are not me
There’s a hollow deep within, because,
I could never be king.

I will never be a king
And I wish you weren’t either, only because
I could never be king.

I Want to Be the King

22 kms

Only 22 kms of a straight road separates us
Longer than the thousand miles of yore
Our proximity lulls us
We are dulled by a sense of being close.

Once, the longer distance worked
It kept us close because we denied it
Attacked it with vigour, and overcame
To be together.

Now, the distance tricks us, taunts us
And we mockingly deny it even today
Yet, what we didn’t lose to 2200 kms
We surrendered to a mere 22 kms.

22 kms

My Eunuch Enemy

By virtue of us being enemies
We are to hate each other.

And your invisible bejewelled dagger
pierces my heart, curves, and tears my flesh.

And I wilfully allow that.

Am I blind in love so much that
I do not know my intent?

*

Forgive me
Oh my eunuch enemy
For I am the hero
and villain myself.

I am addicted to the stage.

I dread the day
My knees week and broken
Unable on stage; my death
Will be when I become audience.

My Eunuch Enemy