Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Lunar Dream: A Scientist Crossing the Railway Tracks




For Dr. V.A

the child asked if the moon would drop
on us like a soft wafer from the sky

He pedalled hard

the wind whipped up a cloud
rested on the crescent moon

I saw his moon-eyes
When he sang Clementine like a child
The ditty rained dreams in numbers
Digits, pictures of payloads


Our fancy girdled
the luscious lunar skin

Moon the sinner, Moon the saint, weaned from earth
though capturer for some, princess' thumbnail, lover's muse.
Moon bears the burden of our dreams and sins.


He crossed a railway line
gently pushing his cycle on the tracks

from one Lagrange point to the other
Eyes in search of Verne's dream
to soar and sail to the distant moon

The scientist on his biped

Pedalling to the moon, his cosmos

The wheels turned and turned through
Asteroid gutters of tarmac streets…
He pedalled hard

A letter to a mallu, if you can take it




Don’t be struck dumb by words; don’t be offended when I call you a mallu,

A mallu is no nigger, aren’t we god’s own children? Do you doubt it? Don’t we get

into puritanical spasms when we talk sex, and pretend we don’t make love to create children?

Don’t we still debate what clothes suit our mothers and daughters? Even take wives to the lingerie to

choose the bra size and of course the prize? Once, didn’t one of us forget the wife , remembered only the cup size,

indicated with the rounding of the palm, the information and the innuendo, didn’t the gesture

both tickle and make us go bonkers about it? Didn’t we dream of huge bodies of women,

their breasts, and their butts,
and mound them nude on concrete in parks and beach , for men to

look and children to climb and play?
And who cares when tardy women and simpletons blush behind the

structures, what do they know about ART anyway? Don’t we stop our daughters playing with boys after

pubescence, so that their hymen be preserved for the man who buys her in the market with chunks of gold

and a fortune, stolen straight out of the bribes we shore against our salary ruins? And don’t we let children

be children, even if their rear becomes the apple of a tourist's eye in the lovely sands of Arabian sea

where we built our empire of dreams, fringed with palm fronds and that sensuous ayurvedic massage

oil gently oozing from the small of our necks to the back to the crevices of bliss? Have we not built our dreams on this dome of illusion?

And if the tourists are distracted by the peddlers of the sea, supple urchins, let them earn their bread any way,

do we care as long as our purse is not cut? Don't we still talk Marx, Althusser and maybe Agamben?

Once a Red Prof in a Red Univ in Delhi proclaimed that even toddy tappers spoke Gramsci in our midst,

didn't we really shock him out of his intellectual shoes?

Aren't we proud of our borrowed knowledges, sometimes don't we even spew them out on the faces of hapless dimwits?

Some even tail our magic flute, open eyes, with hooded minds. Don't we love that crash and crumble

when a capitalist automobile smoulders to ruins? And don't we hear the hooves rattling the streets

Ionesco' s rhinos trampling the sodden streets, heading towards the vaccuum of an ignorant bliss

bless the animal, don't we, when we feel our hides hardening and a single horn sprouting from our snout?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The story of a bomb blast

I am glued to TV, I want to walk away but
I cant, a reporter bellows over blood spilt,
shreds of flesh mangled with metal and
mobile phones.He repeats his lines,
his tensile agility, falsettoed with fear,
concern and other lofty feelings.The camera
focusses on dustbins, detained suspects and
men at large, policemen cordon off blast
sites, doubtlessly officious and dutiful,
The lens remembers a chathouse torn to bits,
dismembered bodies, populous markets previously
bombed to silence, the death toll. The paranoia!

My son watches TV too, how much ever I want
to insulate him, he knows there's something
so 'real' about this 'live show' much more
than all the animations and reality shows he
is addicted to. His fear unsettles me so do his
five-year-old-queries about bombs, bombers and
mangled scooters. About blood and death, he
tails my muffled footsteps, questions about
'bad' men bombing 'good' men and why 'God'
does not punish bad men as his mother tweaks
his ear for a wee bit of mischief. Phone rings
as a nervous sister-in-law tells me that my
niece missed it by a whisker. Tremor creeps down
my belly, this very niece who missed Tsunami by
half an hour, in Marina, heard the blast rock the
streets from her office wall that rattled and
rattled for another half an hour. Half an hour
between life and living, she has seen it all.
Home is silent, cheers stolen from three children,
two parents numb with a sense of doom. I go about
my business, clumsily smoothening bed covers,that
I normally leave for my maid and worrying about my
child's queries, naggingly asked many times by my
adult self. My husband packs his bag, a weekend
vanishes with a bomb, a lump in my throat when my
son asks again if the debris be cleared and swept
to order the next day. Tomorrow, ma, will the sun
shine,tomorrow? A new toy distracts him. Knowing
my incapacity to hold on to reactions for long,
I rush to dine,
as hunger prevails my senses above anything else.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chaos Theory

Vapour is a dream, a thought-cloud made
by the sea where water freezes like an
assasin's heart in the basalt depths.
When the sea couples with the land,
a butterfly flaps her wings fogging
those satellite eyes.Weather can only
be read like lines in the palm, when we
predict seasons,like a dervish in trance,
I am tipped off the stub like ashes,
I fall with a with a flap then split
into many coloured selves, coral reefs,
flotsam and breathing planktons,many blues
driven to the estuary with froth and frolic,
celebrating my chaos which take to wings.
I rise up pubescent, evey time decay
conquers me, chaos maketh me...

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