Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Street magic!

The dust settles
gently o'er this large-hearted road,
the widest for miles,
a generous king among commons,
some of whom are spice traders,
narrow but they charm the senses...
Few others are pious,
temples being their life,
mosques their only world,
and some sell churches n history
in stalls on their love handles,
but they're not whores.

A few socially responsible men guide
kids to schools n football grounds too.
Beach is where the Romeo stand,
right by the crashing waves n Chinese nets;
while the local illuminati woo
tourists and hearty fellas
to bay-side bars and 
art cafes for Indian culture,
a decoction, forming storms in cups
and tall beer mugs!

Back to the street-smart royal one,
being dressed by drunk contractors
for the year-end parade
where he lets his subjects
dance to the tunes of Christmas
and a New Year of hope.

The beach walkaway in Fort Kochi - the Romeo among streets here (pic credit:

(On the narrow lanes of Fort Kochi and the premier among them - The KB Jacob Road (50 feet road) which dresses up every year for the Cochin Carnival, ushering in the new year...)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Art of Denial!

To infinity... Spreads this
off-white canvas below my feet;
vandalized to insanity by
the stomps of arrogant youth;
by plastic waste from drunk,
mindless punks straight out of college
and their campus-recruited IT jobs;
guised as hard-working fishermen,
who fight the waves of change
to provide school uniforms for
the smiling ones and snacks for
the smirking, bribe-belied cops.

T'is, the time for my painting here,
but my will fails to power the strokes
across its breadth,
legs fail in the sprint across its length
to my bike parked yonder.
I can only crawl to her feet,
begging her to adopt me
into her depths,
urging her to let her salt
seep into my blistered heart,
cleansing it with burn,
the scars will remain black though;
a dark reminder on pale skin
of my stand now:
Helpless at the edge of the canvas
I need to colour fast.

I had my crayons,

have also seen those water-hued days,
even wax and fabric paints
and 'em fancy acrylic I found in college;
but I wanted just coal,
just black and white
from mother earth,
who always denies me my due.
But I still dared to ask:
Please, a li'l love this day...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

AC/FC: The band!

For once I stayed up;
after all, it was Milan's
honour this day
to host the Band,
but not of the Billboard charts
nor one for grannies or Grammy...

... Still they eased those average teens

from the second third n fourth worlds
to change channels and 
their obsession with
tanned beach babes
and their samba; 
or the dreams of a night out,
dancing to cocaine with a Sabatini,
a tango under the silver moon
by the Rio de la Plata.

Now they all sway to

the smooth flow from a 
Spanish guitar strummed by
a Nou-bred Argentine,
tuned to perfection
in a proud Catalan dream.

3.20 in the morn here,

six hours ahead of
that smile from Xavi,
the Italians mourn;
but the tears thrill 'em all
as the boards sang anthems
in flashy neon:
3-2 it is for Barcelona.

The boys kept their stripes all,

earned a few more,
Milan in Black and Red,
while Green lights adorn
the glittering Palau Blaugrana,
the hues and the many phews!

(Thoughts during the UEFA Champions League classic between AC Milan and FC Barcelona yesterday...)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday Qualifying

Sir Stewart smiled,
the knight's many chequered flags
spark the V8 that
powers his young eyes,
wrapped in a magic weave
of proud Scottish sunshine.
Schumi did part his lips too,
so did Vettel and the young-uns,
at posers with magic drumsticks
and jokers with rusty, septic swords.
... It gave them orgasms!
Hell yeah, it did...
While o'er the counter quotes
eased the pain in their lower gut from
paraphrasing the one-and-a-half minute long
lap dances, the misery and mystery of it all.
And the tycoon chose to eat while
they blew his trumpet.
Night, the city lit up with
headlamps rushing home.
The delivery boys readied
a rich spread on the dinner table.
A li'l more than four hundred
words got laid on the front page
for the pleasure of millions.
Out came whorish squeals on Facebook;
from the dark lanes
it made its way to the pit-lane
and the paddock behind.
Three days of timeout
from rum n coke in a tainted glass,
to champagne in a circus flute.
Then there were rumours
of multiple pleasure,
beside the pit-lane exit,
in sync with the downshifts
into the opening corner.
More a sigh than a cry,
from an Italian lady in red;
as she climbed towards newer
heights of ecstasy, beyond the second corner;
round n round, hips and laps.
They all qualified for
a Sunday party,
while I made the grid for a hike,
after a Saturday high!

(I was also present at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida for the inaugural F1 Indian GP. Yeah, the ‘mystery and misery of it all’...)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Room for more!

Shipbuilders, ’em southerners
are busy with their hull...
It belongs not to them,
the Iron, nor the hammer
they use to bring percussion
to the fore in an orchestra
conducted by a very tall,
old man in Red tux.

Hey, I too can float,
an airtight skull sets sail;
a few shots down the vein
and I'm on my desk,
making a couple of pages,
before forgetting the stanzas of a 
good dream... I never take notes!
Visions never appear on paper either!

Slow n steady on two wheels
I come back to reality,
watching my beloved's concrete bosom glow,
revelling in the attention from the sun,
the naughty old westerner
trying to woo his favourite gal,
a white-skinned one on stilettos,
to spend the night with him.

He fixes the spotlight on her;
sad, so sad, he is setting,
a temporary death,
or is it just twilight sedation
for doctors to work on him
and he comes out again the morrow,
young and handsome to date her again,
the soap opera continues!
View from my sixth floor room east window at Medical Trust Hospital in Kochi

(Thoughts from my hospital bed in Kochi, on the view from my sixth floor room, my trip under sedation and the setting sun...) 

Monday, October 17, 2011

White coat, dark court!

Heal me doctor
for I've sinned,
but just in my deeds.
Yet “banished,” said he!

The hunched over professional,
bespectacled, white-coated
and smiling, walks out on me.
His evening busy; hands warmed
with soft leather gloves,
he strolls to a garden in bloom.
His bed is comfy too
while a cold hospital cot awaits me.

“Banished,” he said again,
for you dared to try singles.
Indians can only play doubles,
ask your Paes or Bhupathi!

Yeah, they've won Grand Slams,
but I have no choice
for I am forced to stick
to just serve and volley!

Thank you doctor,
I shall begin my day
in darkness now;
the floodlights are dead
at the fenced singles court
and they refuse to repair it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rain Check

"Yes, yes! Right here mama,
I ain't out in the rain!"

The skies opened
to re-christen the birthday boy,
cleansing his veins and lanes
off grime and some crimes;
flushing his soul and sewers
off original and some duplicate sins.

But all I heard, between the quick
baby steps on concrete, was her voice,
which once made sure I played by
the rules written in the mist, in bold italics,
by the waving index finger
I held walking to school.

But I can't lie, can I?

This grey carries my sin,
sprinkled in between
the fresh shoots you planted
while I waited by the window
for my paper boats to dock.

"Yes, yes! Right here mama,

never in the rain, I play with fire now!"


And as I look out of my flat window here enjoying its sudden appearance, I hear my mother call. Many times!

Of course she is nowhere near me to call out my name and check whether I am inside the house or busy floating paper boats in the rain.

This used to be a regular call when I was a kid growing up in Kochi where rain is part of life just like the sun.

As a kid, though I was less naughty than I am now, one of my ideas of fun was rain and the inexpensive, low carbon-footprint activities surrounding it -- like sliding in the mud, making water skis with coconut tree branches, netting tadpoles and tiny fish in the small pond at our backyard, and of course miniature boats.

At times even my grown up aunts (mom's sisters) used to join me. Till my mama intervenes, calling out my name, asking me where I am and reminding me that I am not supposed to be outside.

The call stayed with me.

Later, even now as a 30-year-old, whenever I am left in peace to listen to the rain I hear my mother and her voice of concern and caution.

"Leslie, where are u my son, don't go out in the rain."

And I heard her voice today.

But rain is not my worry now mama. It is fire that I have to deal with every day.

I wish the days were as simple as the ones involving monsoon showers and paper boats. But at least I have my mama's voice with me and her beacon guides me to brief yet fulfilling visits to the simplicity of existence I once enjoyed.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Smiles apart

Hay fever kicks him
out of the rented bed
and into a world
of overcast faces.
None smiled, not even
the serene nun.

The smog has killed
their passion for fellow men,
or are they following
The Emperor's eldest son.
Even the sun just frowned today,
n walked, 
it's a selfish world.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Official Prison

Backs bent to submission
by the bulge of prosperity
surrounding a job in a room
with red-carpeted walls and
a white, life-less ceiling
that guillotines the dreams.

The windows won't let the
world in or the word out;
they are sealed tight by design,
to keep spirits at bay, allowed to dance
only in the rays that the
dusty glass panes let through.

And we look out,
to see purple mist rising from
the rains which give life for many,
while filling the moat around us
prisoners here;
it's official, the sentence.
(Ah! The cell called office cubicle)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Death tone

I dread this change,
the tones, from drum-rolls
announcing life in this city,
it's now a few night birds humming.

Darkness, I fear your smile too,
for you will sneak up on me
from behind to sever the
warm nerves to my heart.
I hate you too... wily, black n slimy,
how easily you got the same drummers
to play music at dawn
'morrow for my pallbearer.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peek-a-boo life

Arms up, in full guard;
this the peek-a-boo way.

Looking through the gorge
between the two, the only
brothers you can depend on;
not to wait for that flinch,
or a twitch to land a jab,
or a hook in good taste.

It is just to save the
'kind eyes' from turning black;
only the relentless gloves I see,
already red from many a spots.

Pure plain peek-a-boo style,
sans the knock-out drills.

(A lesson for life from boxing: It worked well even for Iron Mike Tyson in the ring before he forgot his coach Cuz’s "fail-proof" tactic and was knocked out, in life! But Peek-a-boo style does keep one away from a lot of complications...)

Friday, June 10, 2011


Hope in!
The missing links maketh your day,
filling your hours with hope.
And hope drives the universe.

Father figure
The going was tough, but,
the tough was falling around him,
and they Baptized him Father!

Vain blood
An old man at the frontier;
where are the young n brave?
Oh, they bled Blue to death in vain!

Armful Cancer!
Armed rebellion against cancer!
We can't let you amputate
our mother, ye modern sage...

Hold on
Intriguing, the air is still;
for the whole nation holds its breath,
Democracy is in labour tonight.

A nation built on hope, blood and sweat. The fluttering tri-colour -- a dream of the Father of the Nation and the thousands who laid down their lives and the millions who made sacrifices -- is in danger of becoming a nightmare.
A man from that long-lost “age of national pride” has come forward though, to keep the Indian dream alive. But the young are lost in their own little world of self importance, while the nation bleeds and rots. And another “Saviour” tries to cut our Mother to pieces – Armed rebellion!
I see my brothers and sister doubting Democracy and doubting our constitution, the backbone of our nation. These are dangerous times. It’s time we acted and acted boldly.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Morning Raga

She begins her worship
of the holy cradle, her hearth
and the source of manna,
in the only way she knows.

Her limited access-key to the
vocal chambers is enough for her
fresh soul to render flawless emotions
in a flowing, free-versed Raga
that tickles a mother
- smiling with pride and joy.

She leans on her plush throne,
while morning glows in her sunshine song.

(My neighbour’s baby's song I wake up to these days...)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Evening Show

The pixels on the giant screen
dim with each passing frame,
the flick is ending, time for a fare
through black & white lanes, again.

Evening show tickets with me;
I burned the extra cals,
to reach the box seat
reserved for veterans and
the local political analysts.
This neighbourhood theatre is crowded,
screenings round the clock;
action and a few stunts in the morn,
love stories follow post noon and
hope n family flicks at primetime.

The show goes on even as the
actors fade before the horizon.
White dots appear on the dark screen,
a sign of life, but ushering death for a change.
This cue to leave and the white paint
from government lights mark my return route.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fort Bastard

The fortress crumbles,
under her own fat, neglected bling.

I see her green, black n red
veins protrude out in an evil twirl,
varicose has gripped the pillars
which once held up the lofty
buyers-world in a spell, the seller's market.
They now crumble as rust eats into
the downed shutters of the courts
which once inspired awe, then lust.

Now a haunt where old men sit
and smoke away dreams;
the rush, only from pyre fumes
climbing up the decayed escalators,
to the sunroof that splashes an eerie Neon
onto the alleys of a dying bastard.

Spencer Plaza in Chennai is fighting a losing battle, it’s obvious. A fight for survival as its world slowly shifts to the road across.

The plaza's oval central sun-lit lobby, where one side reminds us of the first Spencer building, which was built during the time of the Britishers

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armour of God

His armour, forged with the
wisdom of God, written by man,
bestseller down the years,
a gift from a mother.
Battle ready, his power, the will
to trample snakes and lions,
the moment he covers his prone
flesh and soul with a
promise, a Psalm for the
mortal warrior, but unlike Achilles.

Carrying a buckler, made in love
by his woman back home;
shield from an ore from the mines of Luke,
the voice, his holy guide
lighting a right path across
Edom and many more of 'em battle fields.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Heat Healthy

The warmth from the lap
of an unknown mother,
kept me awake as
stories flashed by in colour.

She, known for feeding
her sons with resolve
from the full, burning breasts;
I met her this day,
after four long years of
hide and no seek!

The game which I started,
with the morning gust,
that hit me with all its might,
uprooting my veins, for months at times.

But today... I orphaned myself inside an
AC cab waiting outside a train station!

The day-time train trip through Tamil Nadu in a non AC compartment: A burning experience, but no time to complain because I was alive amongst the "real" people of this country. Check out my observations during the journey - 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chrome Plated Dreams

The tips of my fingers resonate
this morn, with the music
from her silence, which keeps
me in a cell with no windows.
Only small peepholes,
the eight bright ones offered
by Chrome; they ain't sport
today though, no painkillers.

My eyes follow the plot still,
pipe dreams a few open;
while my shackles are loosened
enough to let me scroll
from one vision to another,
in search of that glare from reality.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Sweat Equity

The meat of the moment;
reality, the heat of life,
was lost among the humming
birds of a concrete tree,
who huff and puff
to vent their cold frustrations
on the prone men
hunched o'er tragic mirrors...

Women too! Forced to
do justice to a devil's contract.

I would rather sweat, shovelling
love near that familiar tree
whose mangoes once trained
me to aim high and higher, sigh!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Good Mourning!

The knock on the door
from a surrogate,
paid a lower wage
for her act of pity
on the man who eats less
and tweets more, lately.

Wake up call answered
with a smile, an apology,
and a promise for amends follows;
the employees are happy...

... I rush back to my
bed of nails, mails waiting.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blue Fever

Blue, the pools are
full to the brim.
Hangover from four days of
binge on home-made sweet brews
strains the valves;
the plumbing squeaks and bulges.

But optical illusions and
a seven-hour old chart
forces me into a train;
while unshed tears,
a rusted, hard and cold bed
ensured I felt every single
beat of my self till the auto ride
to reality. Back to fever!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ride and Seek!

Gentle twists, a schoolboy’s will
to ease the miniature motor
through the chicane from yesteryears.
A right and a left, in slow motion
the bike was urged as an old
family fortress coughed on the left
while the watch tower loomed,
it still keeps an eye on the
blue-and-white teens mugging up
theorems to cut short their heaven.

An open ground and a palace
left in the dust, yellow memoirs zip past.
Ahoy! The market where dreams
were made, pumped with Iron,
oiled and then dumped,
the end of innocence.

(Yesterday evening’s bike ride from Santa Cruz school to Pattalam ground through the road beside the unused water tank, my old school Britto and the Bishop’s Palace, was indeed part of a normal commute home after an evening stroll at Fort Kochi beach. A 500-metre or so long trip which lasted around 30 seconds; but a life-time of memories this road carries for me and some flashed by, in the same pace as the eight or so Sodium vapour street lamps I left behind during the ride.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pain Old Will

The humid presence I felt,
of the man inside,
with a will to stand his ground,
for "lies" - truth for me,
maybe not so for the shepherds
of the flock, lost up
the mount of no return.
Touché! I'm your man...

For I felt my guts today,
though the revelation was painful,
it shook me... minutes,
the dull burn from
the weight of expectations
I carry ever since I was born.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Holi Sift!

Behold! A corridor of certainty,
between two human indiscretion,
called home by a few hundreds;
while others name them
indulgence of men, whose will
rise higher than the dreams of
even those upper-middleclass gent
in the morning trains to VT.

Blue with shifting silver streaks,
the young sun makes his point,
bringing out the real colours
within the Canyon.
It's Holi indeed for the
specs on the garage floor;
it’s their festival. I slept,
searching for the missing links...

... Two drunk friends, infant summer;
and sounds of childhood
- the thump of waves with
spray reaching my home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Terrier Terrain

Whole of heart; wiry,
busy 'em little ones.

Yours truly, these Terriers,
ready to jump n fetch, heel n roll;
spotted fur-heads - yellow n black;
they sprint for you, a whistle it takes.

Those mushy glides in love,
the slow crawls to work;
flight or fight or the higher life;
barking their way round
the charmed maze here called life.
Loyalty metered to the mile,
deep Italian grunt to match,
it's their world, a busy one.

- Mumbai Fiat Taxis: Now, they are something!

Saturday, March 05, 2011


The drop trickling down
an old rut, hidden under
a thick brush and worn-out
leather; a man at large.
Oh, you've grown up;
ready to sin, ready to win.

And this water,
yeah; it's his heart weeping,
for he was still taking a
noon nap after mama's lunch,
when the world did many a Mach. 
The sonic boom afterthought,
shook him back to reality;
tears ain't virtual anymore.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Edit Cage!

Dog days are here to stay;
bones, less marrow, are thrown
into their cracked shot glasses

by masters of a trade, younger than
the oldest profession this biz,
but filthy more it sure is.

Whores ’em are noble,
for they barter flesh, dignity;
while these whip wielders
deal in souls and breed zombies
to edit the bones - snarling, biting
in greed, caged near the source!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Peace Pat

Bliss patted his palm,
in a pink frock with flowered smiles,
from an island beyond a lacquered
picket fence of many.

The arched brow above her jewels
questioned his will to play,
while around they all pray.
Man, he chose to wave and woo
her into those naughty,
tiny steps up the sunny aisle,
for a gentle pat; receive he did,
that sign of peace with meaning.

(I was kept busy during last Sunday's service at Santhome, for the little girl two rows ahead of me found me amusing...)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Love Ethic-uette!

That wasn't pure nor amour;
oh, the one from the east!
For if love had ethics
and you were in love,
you will never elope with
that stranger I showed you once!

Stranger is life still,

capital bliss for you;
in neatly trimmed winter days,
and on a warmed bed made out
of fallen branches from the
tree of life they once named honour;
in real haste it's down to a stump,
But all's fair, indeed it is!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Write Key!

Baby Steps in happy Garten!
Firm, her gentle grip led
me up the magic stairs
to where rivers silver stream
amidst lush green life;
the Eden of Words.

Morn, I knocked for a voice!

It rhymed with the artist's hold
on my sword, the one I swish
at will for bread, love, for sleep;
in awe I froze and
she stepped down, an altar!

It indeed was one, a temple!

Lambs tiny, soft and naughty;
given candy and songs
to nourish 'em into 'solid men'.
Wait; easy she saw through the
smile of a Christmas kid.

You little one of many?

I leaned to my name,
for a kiss, wine and a high.
These jingles for her ears;
a gift for the key
I used to unlock my world.

(An Ode to Yvonne, my first teacher! She used to put me on her lap and hold my hand to guide me through the contours in the copy book. She taught me the alphabets and the many words I use now so liberally to make a living... Yvonne and Uncle Willy live in Canada now and were in Kochi this year to celebrate Christmas with family. The lines were written just after my visit to her place, the old family house in Fort Kochi where I used to run about singing rhymes as a three-year-old...)