Autumn in Troy


As we reluctantly receive autumn
Seek that the dusk is most beautiful on horizon,
Leaves are most beautiful yellow ere they fall,
I know I have to make a way,
For those patiently waiting for me to land in glory,
So that they could live diligently through winter,
renew patiently in Spring
and then blossom into sultry summer.

To Raj who left early

You left, hooked  on to an earlier ferry,

Did not therefore have to further tarry,

Your strong views , even stronger thoughts,

Strewn all over are your stringent notes,

Your intellectual interventions still linger,

My pen in protest, is now on a hanger,

Gathering dust devoid of solo critic,

May be, you were a shade unrealistic,

In a world of pragmatic, fortune  seeker,

An emerald lost to dream un-maker,

You were so hoping for a prodigal switch over,

To the clang and clamor of yester year,

An immigrant who desired to return,

Withdrew quietly to the ashes of an urn.


The Bus Ride from Thevalakkara to Kollam

rain flow

Old roads and older beatled romeos,

the nostalgia arousing fragranceof  pond’s powder

sprinkled across the bus by early bird commuters

combines with the swanky sweat  of the gulf returnee

a bus breakdown midway, the stranded are accommodated,

they reluctantly tilt on to an overfull footboard

ensconced me, so futilely arrogant at being seated

the early morn cackle and laughter of my villagers,

the sighs of delays, the fear of price rise, the incessant rains,

A driver who has to honk  to wake up curvaceous dreams,

His patronizing halts, his furtive glances, at passers by,

I seek the reluctant but learned  conductor for change,

who clanks his  bag to return slow and cribs,

until he reaches the village belle for whom he smiles,

I am relieved that he is de-stressed,

there is some hope of unrequited love,

of romance until the end of this drive.

An Onam to remember

An Onam to remember

Long years ago,  my dad used to be a trader. Business then had its seasonal swings. Some months were good and some were best forgotten. One year, the month before Onam (Onam is the harvest festival in my part of the World) had seen no sales movement of goods and there were just piled up stocks of goods. In technical terms, my dad called it a recession… but in my mind it was a great depression. Suddenly, there were pangs of insecurity. Checks bounced. Bankers recalled loans. Mom and dad seemed unsure of the morrow: there were whispers I overheard which had me worried as to how my family could make both ends meet. The list of sundry creditors from whom  my dad had  borrowed plus the amounts past due seemed ever rising. The black telephone (then only landlines existed and like Ford cars of the 1930s, the telephones were all black…) seemed to be sadistically ringing all the time with people seeking payments. “These rings will stop soon”, my Dad said. “I have not paid the bills, so it will be disconnected!”

As a child, Onam was ingrained in my psyche as the best of all seasons. Onam, was the day our mythical King visited us in our homes and partook meals with us. We were expected to wear new clothes and be in the happiest of elements. If any subject was unhappy, the King would be upset that he had bequeathed an in-egalitarian society . That would make the King melancholic. To avoid any misery to the King, it was expected that all inhabitants celebrate the day of Onam as the richest, happiest day of the year. This was the day of sweets , a plantain leaf full of food, of swings, of flowers, of new clothes…

The downturn in business crumbled  my Onam dream that year. There were no swings, no new clothes, no sweets. All we had at home was an abundance of anxiety. My friends in school were celebrating in style days ahead of the event and that added to my torment; . their ‘demonstration  effect’ was too much on me.

The day before Onam seemed the longest day. It just would not seem  to move. I lay on my mattress and could hear the motors of the last (11.30 p.m. )boat steer  past the backwaters.  I could hear the slowing down of the boat and then the stillness.  Then a restarted  motor and the fading sounds of the engine as it receded echoing among the coconut trees. The ripples of the backwater disturbed my soul. Someone had alighted at the wharf close to our house. A few minutes later, I could hear footsteps outside my house. There were knocks on our door;  those were knocks on my fear ridden heart. Was it some creditor who had his Onam spoilt because of my dad not repaying his loan? I huddled behind my Mom as my Dad opened the door.

There were two men. Both had loads of things on them in two gunny bags. “Reddiar sent it.” Reddiar was my Dad’s old classmate in Alleppey. He had been as much a successful merchant as one could be; the recession had not hurt him. These two men were his employees ” Onam sales were heavy, so we could not come earlier. Sorry for that. We will stay on till the boat returns at 6.30 a.m. and return.”

The older man then turned towards me and said: “For you, Reddiar sent a special gift.”  The box had clothes, sweets and a flute. As my Mom made tea and my Dad spoke to them on mundane things through the night, I had perhaps the shortest wait for the dawn. After they left, my dad told my mom. “Reddiar must have heard of my business flop from market sources. He was always a kind guy even when studying. ”

Then as an afterthought, he said, “the joy of life is in giving, is it not?”.

That  Onam taught me I had to repay.

The Sounds of Rain

Waterrain flow

I hear the winds menacingly waft ,

The threat , asking all before to retreat,

Chasing me in an adrift,  inward slant,

Munificence of victor –  a time grant,

Ere the spatter of a deceptive  driblet,

Then the wave, the storm, all so wet,

Drums on tiles, the moss in red swept,

The patio cleansed in some part, some slot,

The leaves rollick , rock in a watery joyous ride,

The rhymes and the rhetoric of a rivulet,

The foliage holds, cannot sustain, has to let,

It can no longer hold.  It is now a splash resonant,

It falls with a thud onto the ground now awed,

The ricochet   does for sometime reverberate.

The sounds rebound on me afterwards to  reflect

jack tree


I return home:


To my friend the jack tree, who like me is now seasoned,

With several long years of warmth, of heat ,oft wet and cold,

Torrents of trickles  running down to a land  seemingly so parched,

Happily in service as shocks are so effortlessly  absorbed,

Wind and storm in awe we separated and  withstood,

Tired sit out for those seeking some weary shade,

Some traveller so burdened by life’s incertitude,

Immeasurable girth of timber to be  serially logged,

Its fruits now so valueless, deceptively porcupined,

So multiple clogged, thinly but firmly ratcheted

The more we endure, the more mature and so well needed,

Assure  to my insecure self that we shall be  ripened and sawed,

So that the future is always built on the past that passes by unnoticed.

Except that irreverent  sound of a fall;  the irrelevant thud which can be avoided.



As you introspect-

On the travails of sweet somethingness,
The heart of the horizon is now wet,
Splashed with tinges of sensuousness,
Rollicking colors of emotions ,
Riotous in a myriad ignited sparks,
Lighting up the sky of my dreams ,
Thoughts in seagull patterned flights,
They swoop down on me from among the clouds,
In their shower of flowers I now drift,
Wafted by some strange feel,
I retreat to sense in silence.
As you introspect, I meditate.