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Oh! Kolkata! Carbon dioxide An old grand Piano
Zubeida The aftermath Handicapped
Cologne Once A tapestry
A meeting by the river Ganga Reflections Death of a Neem tree
Yoga by the sea Haiku Broken
Faith Blues Inside a tunnel
Tankas Loneliness Numbness
Keeping them warm Terrace poem 'It's too cold here'
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Oh! Kolkata!

You carry my burden of yesteryears.
Dust has thickened along your folds, yet
cracks on a pillar do not bother me.

Gulab jamuns and sandesh
have made me a victim of hyperglycemia.
Still I add spoonfuls of sugar
in my morning tea-cup.

Protests march on your streets, halt
traffic. But you continue sculpting me.
You build my frame, apply fine clay
with care, sun-dry the softness.

A brushstroke opens my eye,
I feel like an eccentric
perched on the top rung of Howrah bridge,
eager to play a card game with you.



Carbon dioxide

As I breathe my poems,
flowers take the place of bullets.
An ancient rain
flirts with their perfume.

I exhale
third season of a year, adding
some amount of carbon dioxide
in the background.



An old grand Piano

The keys languish in the dark,
a spider spends his day
laying traps.

Frantic whirr of some captive bees
remind the felt hammers
of faded tunes.

Sunbeams bleeding through skylight
hunt for melodies
within a dust of silence.




Mehndi adorned her slim
fingers; chosen gems decked
her ivory charms.

She was a rose
in her bridal shawl
and fragrance.

Lips were parted
in expectancy, downcast
eyes followed
intricate embroideries.

The needlework entices
her even now. She traces out
an artwork of henna.

Locks have grayed
within folds of time. She trails
those motifs.



The aftermath

I observed a minute's silence
under a banyan tree. Mourned
an early death of rains.

Puddles evaporated young.
Fire-bellied toads stopped their yodels.
Tadpoles kept on hunting.

Swarms of arthropods examined
the hungry relics. Scorched blades
narrated countless episodes.

I couldn't tread more softly.




A pair of crutches lay on the pavement.

Amidst a crowd, crumpled vehicles,
mutilated remains, security people,
flashbulbs and smoke, Ramu searched
for his white tennis ball.

His temples throbbed with the hoot
of an ambulance, in a stagnant smell
of charred flesh -someone pushed him away.

One pigeon perched itself
upon the idle crutches,
tweaked at a smallish globe,
messy with streaks of deep red.

It rolled for a distance, and stopped.


Cluster of roses on my windowsill,
draped with morning.

Murky sky, a curtain of  downpour
adds to their sweet languor.

Caressing a canvas
brushes speak softly.

Little ones sleep unperturbed;
velvety lips curved in bliss.

Dreamy odor paints with
fresh colours.



One lazy afternoon
my door creaked
with a subtle melody.

We leaped over
the corral fence of minutes,

our footfalls
mimicked feathery touches
on a harmonium.

Cozy whispers
strummed the green
we robbed sunshine together.



A tapestry

Some repeated words
got entwined in my scruples.

Alphabets go jogging
over the belt of a treadmill,
churn out a needlecraft
"Ouch!" - I've caught a pebble in my shoe!

My poems lay scattered
in a crowd of MEs and YOUs.

A meeting by the river Ganga

Heavy clouds made
the twilight dimmer.

They were huddled under an umbrella.
His spectacles were blurred.
Yet he could watch her eyes.

Abandoned idols
left on the banks, appeared morbid.

She carefully took out a card from her bag
and said, "You must come."

All he managed to read
was the word "Wedding"
engraved in gold.

They sat silent like rusty railings.
Country boats dangled in front.

The downpour kept forming
transient polka dots on the water.



I feel a noose around my neck;
a sleepy residing under the gallows all day.

I get tired of watching
your rebuking eyes, your nose
hidden in a handkerchief

sniffing an obnoxious Me.
I slit my wrist every minute;
pierce a hypodermic syringe into
my pain.

I would have dived from my balcony,
but for my agoraphobia.

I hurl a paperweight at you
only to find
reflections multiply.

Death of a Neem tree

A twig detained one purple kite.
Winds could only widen the stab.

A baul passed by, strumming an ektara.
His orotund tones reverberated,
 "O Lord, set the birds free!"

An irate tempest fetched sundown.
Flashes traveled along
veins of firmament.

Morning  opened its eyes
on a half burnt trunk, split in two.

A village kid scurried over the fields
holding the kite behind him.

Yoga by the sea

I inhale an early morning breeze
on soft sand

With closed eyes
I picture a candle flame
swaying to the chorus of waves

Waters cool my feet
I exhale used up years


Cotton clouds crawl
leaves shrug off sunshine
Chilled gazpacho



I pore over
torn pieces of arguments
shards of a mirror
ants feed on
anniversary cake



The rose is still alive
with lesions of stem canker.
Held by a frail neck, her prayers survive.
Faith is her anchor.
She meditates to revive
a lost perfume. The rose is still alive
with lesions of stem canker.


Walking towards
approaching waves
my feet cool off
muddy waters here
murky sky above.

Inside a tunnel

I'm running
as if I am lost.
I may have
reached halfway,
maybe not. I carry on
hoping the end nears.




My eyes burn
dew sparkles on grass tips
shadows drift
green turns golden-brown
thoughts become older.


His stiffened body
beside railway tracks
the search on
for the suicide note
in a nearby pond.


A bumble bee
on a whirlwind tour
kisses my fingers
pollen grains cover
one paper clip holder.


Darkness bathes
jasmine buds in sultry noon
air smells of wet earth
I discover
Thomas Alva Edison.


(Double Tanka)


an empty bird cage,
a December breeze -
I prepare greeting cards


expectant eyes
of a street mongrel,
unruly crows
on my verandah,
morning teacup


Through the window, I watch
a variety of words and phrases
standing in a queue, outside my door.

The telephone rings ... I listen
to your unreasonable silence.

Keeping them warm

An old-time air
stuffed in a mahogany cupboard
brought the odour
of a chestnut-colored coat,
a bundle of ties
and a neat stack of cotton shirts.

A cricket started chirping somewhere.
I breathed deep, my fingers fondled
one wind-up watch, one rusty fountain pen,
long-lived greeting cards, bills
and a half-torn diary of 1972.

I tied them all together,
then baked the mixture …
the way I prepare a hot milk cake.

Terrace poem

I stare blankly at nearby buildings,
try to scrutinize their architecture.
The palpable excitement of a city
echoes through the mist.

I’m like the trunk of an old chestnut tree.
Branches rising from my head
search for free oxygen. One woodpecker
maintains its daily schedule.

‘It’s too cold here'

Each day
curtains hesitate
to let the sunlight in.

Each day
she smiles at me,
arms outstretched.

Each day
I rediscover
my paralyzed feet.