Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Christian

I looked down,
so did they;
and saw this lone Christian,
bearing a cross,
in the broken line
under the pillars
that support families
in the NCR.

He got a winter break,
while his master,
a man of faith,
was having his free breakfast.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Silence is Silver!

The bell rings,
five rings of glory it is...

Silence! Of respect, wisdom, of pain;
this silence is silver here, 
not golden like the English phrase of yore;
but this day is India's, made in England.

Dust settles only to rise as a storm;
a village bursts into a mela:
Laughter louder than crackers;
laced with sweat, joy, grit n blood...
Yeah, the bond of blood;
now let there be lights, camera n action.

Lights! Those spot lamps tonight,
bright, some coloured ones too,
all but obscure that first rays of dawn
which charted a line; a snaky,
dusty village path for a wiry boy
to scale Mount Olympus as a man.

-- On the scenes at Indian Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar's house in Baprola village, Najafgarh, Delhi, where I watched the former world wrestling champion's gold medal bout at the London Games with his family and friends on a small TV, in his younger brother's bedroom. The wrestler's loss in the final was greeted with sadness before his dear ones and neighbours snapped out of their disappointment to celebrate their champion's successive medals at the Olympics - bronze in Beijing and now silver in London: this to add to his world title in 2010.

The fanfare and that sickening media commotion in this small village on the outskirts of the country's capital is a sharp contrast to the initial days of Sushil's journey. The way he walked alone on those dusty lanes to the village akhara (wrestling academy) and then the training centre at Chattrasal Stadium in Old Delhi; followed by the hardships - the sweat and the blood literally - and then the big podiums...

The lines in this poem salute that journey, salute the great champion!

Sushil celebrates his semifinal win in London (pic courtesy:

Focal point: The audience at Sushil's residence

Monday, August 06, 2012

Dark Matter

I needed this today,
yes I did, a darker shade;
this fallen grid grants my wish
and it's still not Christmas yet.

I lay bare, steadying my nerves,
urging the only truth I know
to embalm me gently, slowly,
head to toe, it's my coffin.

It began... a pale white hue,
life drains from my eyes;
then I see dark red,
but that blood thins out too.. It's emptiness!

No! No... This flash blinds me,
drags me away, far from rest,
from silence, from my home;
to face 'em all, the only reality.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Metro!

He walks tall, the strides
ever so real... A glide surreal,
above the naive rich men
honking out their emotions
to the one ahead of 'em in
the rat race at sunrise,
the crawl back to love
in the red-light hours.

He is immune, I think,
free from the snare
at the toll booth yonder;
they all have to pay for smoking,
for sins... for their luxury;
he just pays with his card
and walks out a free man...
His liberty comes announced like clockwork.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Drop Zone

I spam you with my sighs,
when my only wish was
to overwhelm your senses
with this rain drop I saved
early morn from the tip of
the youngest leaf of the mango tree;
it still stands tall
near my childhood window.

Are you proud of me old man?
Or do you sigh too,
the "hmmms", for I am 
not a kid, not anymore!

The object of my full attention this morning, at the backyard of my
Kochi home (Pic by my brother Leo Xavier)

Saturday, June 30, 2012


The drops make random
mirrors on dark lanes,
reflecting pretty n bare faces
I took detours to meet.
Some from college,
many from that school
locked behind an iron curtain;
deliberate, by the bay very much.

Ageing, ancient lights, 
shivering with the monsoon winds, 
led me through empty paths
long after sun and power grids
ignored this shore for yonder.
Like those prodigal sons,
who fight battles, to find their feet on
shifting dunes and waters.

Some beacons remain,
those old boys selling pot,
kids pimping art and bowls of 
hot soup of marinated fish;
some stale, a few fresh;
guarded by tired men,
who are born naturals
in front of the lens.

So are these Chinese nets
and the yellow fever
across the channel,
the new order, from a newer world;
rude and shouting lights,
louder than the collective groans
of dead sailors and dying evangelist teens
in and around the Dutch Cemetery.

MODERN GHOSTS: Lights from the LNG Terminal at Puthuvypu across
the channel  captured from Fort Kochi Beach
GREEN AT HEART: A restaurant winding up the day's business near the
Park at Fort Kochi

OPEN DINNER: Chariot restaurant at Princess Street

The bunglow of Koder Family, the most
prominent business family in Kochi. It
has now been converted into a heritage
hotel. My grandparents used to work
for the Koders and I have run around
this bunglow, playing and studying
during my school days 

PARK n DINE: The Koder House entrance bang opposite the Park
in Fort Kochi

Bung-love: One just can't help but fall in love with the Koder Bunglow.

OPEN HOUSE: The doors of Koder Bunglow, a welcome sign

RED SIGNAL: The night lights give a reddish hue to the house at the start of
Princess Street, even as the whittish glow from the Delta Study school is
visible in the bottom left corner 

NIGHT WATCHMEN: It was 10 in the night and the duo here had their fish
shack open. Perhaps waiting for some late-night customers preferring fresh
catch for dinner

HANDLE WITH CARE: Some of the evening's catch goes into the freezer

MUTE WITNESS: More snaps from the fish stall

NET PROGRESS: The Chinese fishing nets clicked with lights
from the new Container Terminal at Vallarpadom across the channel as
the backdrop

OLD WORLD, NEW CHARM: Chinese fishing nets revel in the
modern industrial light from the Container Terminal

FUELLING A DESIRE: The petrol bunk at Fort Kochi right next to the channel.
This is where fishing boats as well as vehicles fill fuel here. The channel
and the container terminal is visible in the background. Was tempted
to jump in for a late-night swim. 

STREET FOOD: The 'Thattu Kada' opposite Fort Kochi boat Jetty

LONE RANGER: My brother Leo on his cycle heading home after our
little night photography experiment using his new SLR camera

EYE OF THE TIGER: The resident alpha cat of the fish shacks near
Fort Kochi beach

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hide n Seek

Hiding between clean,
ironed linen;
I delay the inevitable,
blocking the pouring love from
pals, aunts and the known skies here,
from touching those
few faded yellow pages
of a kindergarten colouring
book I kept safe 
between quantum mechanics notes,
biographies, Playboys and some
paperbacks I’m yet to open...

I fear that bond
and its strength to
seep through the tiny
pores of my now
thickened hide and into my heart,
holding it home, sweet home.
Away from the dust and storms
I seek now... Shalt receive now!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cloak Work

The cold cloak I wear,
the one I drenched in sweat
playing ball in my last
Madras summer heat,
to mask the stench of emotions
which will rise still,
to make me cry tonight
when I step out
from one cell to another,
a measured move in life.

Wow, this is new from my man!
Novel also is this detachment
I wore to work,
but the attachments, the roots,
bring me down each time
I look up from my seat...
Memories, printed in RGB
on the faded, yellow ceiling.

 - Written on my last day as a journalist at The Times of India, Chennai.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Sale

Summer sale on for winter wear, 
I just can't wait for that
retail salesman and his
market theory that always wins.

At sultry Chennai, it's a jest, 
but I'm hell bent on
buying that glossy jacket
to sweat n cook in it...

As it's winter here for me, in May, 
middle of the great Indian summer; 
where is my soda lemonade?
That boy drank it all, years back!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sound of Silence

It's hard, harder for I have
to sift right through the
junk-filled sewers
that maketh my memory.
Some memoir I will manage,
stink rising with every sigh.

Every step I take, I fail,
in that search for silence;
for stealth to approach my
foes to make 'em all
feel the pain I endured when I broke
my nose n bones, but the will remained.

That will, I plea every day,
with the morning rays,
to aid me, to find the steps,
the small silent ones,
I took as a kid, smiling;
but my heart is heavy now...

... So big in girth now
that even my baby steps disturb peace;

it's louder than the buzzing fan
or my panting lungs,
both try to pacify in vain
the cells that burn, they burn.

Monday, May 07, 2012

It's High Time!

That green cover was
just perfect, 
for it leaves my mom glad,
her son has a roof.
My shifting, swaying roof
is loyal to me though,
with random leaks,
it lets me revel in the 
blessing from the heavens,
opening me to truths,
the ones I truly belong to,
the ones which cleanse me...

It can keep me in a

happy warp for hours,
watching a ship sail out yonder,
or those two boats which always 
struggle to take school kids to
tuitions and then home.
This, the time when
sunsets never charmed me,
its romance never touched me,
as I was gay with the waves
and the digital snaps of ships
I will go home n copy on paper.

Then again this shower

did make me shiver
n run home for a blanket,
a cup of tea too,
which was always kept warm
for I was loved.
But the days vanish,
into thin air, the western winds blow it,
along with the clouds, to the hills.
Beyond my reach,
yes, I dread the climb and
the heights I will reach.

For I'm a man, destined to fall;

the higher I am, the bloodier my death.
Credit: Wikipedia

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Hollow Music!

The morning song this day
was dry like the withered branch
of the speaking tree
just outside my window.

It maybe the summer heat, 
or is it this headache?
That turned your voice
coarse n bitter, between stale breath.

Maybe it's the curse of the lost
Spanish Hollow I played with ease, 
my fingers strumming in blind passion, 
knowing its every sigh...

The music flows still, 
a meaningless, lustful tide; 
the senseless tunes composed
by the devil at large, the fallen one.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Men at Work!

They dug pits for me,
every night did the king's men,
as I called it a day at office
to say good morning to love!

The cycle rolls, even now,
a sick, slow n steady workflow!
But Psalms force them to
fill it up in the mornings,
my coffin's not ready yet,
they forget the zen too;
for they still are hard at work, 
lining their gut with cancer
cells to end their sorry stories
in pain... So it's written!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Glass Cage!

Breathe I should,
inhale deep, just as I get
sucked into the depths of
a bed that's not mine.
I'm not home,
just a lonely tenant here...

But I choke on their love,
for they are all smokers,
and they blow white puffs
onto my face, into
my battered lungs beside
an ailing, erratic heart.

And I grope for the window,
to break its stained glass... Yeah, my cage!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ides of March

Fools, Brutes at best,
mobbed in lust,
for power, a coup to mute
his voice in history...
The Republic shouts,
Caesar is dead!

Statesmen, fools none the less,
gave their king
a gift meant for Gods,
As they wrote in blood,
the Ides of March, Beware!

Blood flows again,
and again,
March to summers many,
through the bitter winters,
across Europe, Persia, the new world...
The red clot on a white robe
still stands out, but why?
For he was Julius,
not just another Harvard graduate
at an Oval Office.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A fine line

The fine, naughty
smile on her open lips,
the jest in her
naughty eyes which
always light up at sunset...
A proud glimmer
in 'em all tonight,
for she has two guests...

... Lovers, poles apart,

but lovers... lovers...

The man, a loner from the
north, from the highlands
where warriors hide behind
the masks of bards;
his muse tonight has gems
from the morning star,
strewn on her evening gown;
they held hands at the beach.

... At the front courtyard
of their host, 
basking in her pure
white affection,
they danced...
While their emcee,
she spread out a dinner
on a silver platter.

- The Pole Star, Venus and the Crescent Moon were aligned this evening. A union of lovers!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tone deaf!

These familiar roads
make me fear n brace,
the lanes are marked 
in white footprints
of infants and school kids...
I ride without lane discipline.

A warm night, the wind from the
seven seas comes funnelled 
between the dreams of
sleeping, hard-working men;
into the vents of my helmet,
they bring a song...

I've forgotten its lyrics;
I left behind all the tones
for a grammar school
and now a drummers role sans music.
Just left to herald the darkness I’ll find,
a little beyond the next right.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I cross this strait,
once a day now.
Once upon... a life time ago;
it seemed like life, twice over,
the rush to find my space,
but the calling 
was never heard,
now or even then.

Morning, it was then,
the push for a young heart;
it is in repeat now,
but just half a tread at a time
for this another man in me,
noon it is now.

None to watch my back,
the burn spreads there;
sweat trickle and tickle
down the neck till it
becomes an itch
that drives me further,
a li'l farther, down that path
of no return...
Where I will lose the 
original sin in me to age;
and the will in me 
to the measured
words of an editor,
out of control, out at large!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My best friend's wedding!

A room full of strangers,
the talks begin in earnest;
on traffic, on cars, buses
and some writers...

Then the promise, Gateway opens,
handshakes follow in Swiss precision,
time zones merge, their families too,
well set on magic stones.

A room full of friends now,
the bride's smile broadens into
their lips, I'm in;
seat belt is fastened, I'm home.

Wedding, the march to record books,
the rush to catch a
flight of fancy, of dreams n reality;
their life begins, on Skype now!

- A wedding gift for a dear one, a special one