And Now To Defreeze

the mind

under the melting sun

why it smells so strongly of leaves

earth has taken residence

in your mouth

your eyes see endless green rivers

and the sun

how it beats down on your head

carrying lines of poetry

between the continents

how we drink of it

and come alive

and then the world is no more

it leaves us and goes away

we breathe we just breathe

because we need to

and now when the stars come out

in the sky

you realise you can’t move

you are neither awake nor asleep

you can really do nothing

except stare at the moon

an old homeless lady haunted

how she appears slowly

by your window

peering in.


Belapur To Bandra

In the darkness of the bus depot

the bus arrives

its interiors lit fluorescent

beautiful green

I am travelling in a bus

after ages

and we turn and turn

road after road…

the neon-lit streetlights

and buildings go past…

while the bus makes a sound

like a wave…

my fellow passengers

are such quiet men

such sweet women

in this late night ride

reminding me of so many others…

O what is that guy up to

in his life…

what is she doing…

and the dead whom the sea

remembers so clearly

so eloquently

so well…

and there we already are

turning one last time

down this narrow near-midnight street

parked with cars asleep

the driver blares his loud horn

a rickshaw gets out of the way

and we race into Bandra bus depot

burning brighter than a festival.


The above poem is from my second book Reeling (2013).

Riding The Grey Crest,

the grey acres of the city,

the mind’s misses…


Who can tell you

what is what dear

returning home

at night.


With this grey road ahead

in the oncoming traffic

in the weariness that dies

in this noise…


We become ghosts

to ourselves…

Strangers passing by

in the dark.



The above poem is from my first book Reeling (2012).


Now The Dimness

has become a black stone

this is dawn

this mountain

behind which the sun rises

come steam in the desert city

of skulls and ships

see how the heat

scorches life

to rust

in this harbour

these white pigeons

how they sit at the parapets

and coo

what do they say

the barking dogs

the noise of the vehicles

have burnt my mind

to cinders

and the crows the sparrows

what are they saying

I hear the storm

rising in the red earth

and watch how the dust whirls

and at night now

the cacophony rises

the demons come out

dancing with wild abandon

their red tongues out

thirsting for rain.


Mid-April Evening Heat

Sullen, I walk from room to room,

window to window,

bored after reading a book

I couldn’t get into all day.


My mind is scattered.

The maid is swabbing the floor

of the corridor,

the steamy staleness of my father’s room.


From the dining room window

I see the red roof tiles of the chawls in Mograpada;

they are hardly red anymore.


A flock of white pigeons have settled

on a roof near the mosque…

a man with a big stick appears out of nowhere

and they scatter away.


In the hall, the floor is wet.

It has been wiped clean.

Outside in the patch of lush green trees,

two beautiful white pigeons sit comfortably.


A small black bird flies across

a cable between two buildings.

A little farther away

seven or eight white pigeons have gathered

in a circle in the air.


Like the petals of a flower opening…

Like waves in the sky full of light…

And as I watch,

they are not there anymore.



The above poem is from my second book Circling the Sky (2013).


The Flowers Left

in the sun



and beyond


the everyday

that comes

keeps coming

like ghosts


fail, fade

in these slow



that come

and go


here where

the fragrance

is gone


six storeys

above the ground.



The above poem is from my first book Reeling (2012).


There Is The Smell

of freshness in the morning

of moisture in the air…

the empty roads

the cars still in slumber

and the buildings with

no signs of life yet

I am reminded of laburnum flowers

on the ground

the smell I can taste on my tongue

and gardens fill up my mind

with dew

just then on the snaking stretch of grey road

from my window

a man appears

walking slowly

easy step by easy step

and the curled up street

slowly begins to wake.


The above poem is from my second book Circling the Sky (2013).


This Is The Heart

that is a house

and there is grass around it

and an endless green wood

full of trees

in those trees

there are birds

that are chirping

and the blue sky

high up above that

has light glowing

here when a car passes

on the grey road

a whole new world opens up

and everywhere I see

all across the universe

there are children

skating from tree to tree

from the terrace of a white building

across pink domes floating

in the skies

pigeons enraptured cooing

cool winds blow

now lights are beginning

to come on in the houses

that look like mouses

and I live

on this road

it is evening

under these streetlights

and elsewhere in the city

the traffic is moving

these birds here

flying in the sky

it’s them

I think it’s just too much to bear

this beauty this sorrow

how do you feel about tomorrow

and then it happens

my mind goes

now there’s all kinds of shows

the whole sky can collapse

with its stars

and the darkness

without a shadow of doubt

is some creature with life

I become

and when I now

lift my eyes up

there is the moon

and Spiderman racing along the roofs

in all the windows

are dancing forms of light

it is quite a sight

it turns me into a kite

but soon these winds start blowing

there’s lightning and there’s thunder

and no more time to stop and wonder

the sky now has really opened up

and the rain is pouring all around

there is such a sound

I’m stuck at the edge of this ledge

I cannot sleep

there is no place to leap

so finally my mind

with nowhere to go

closes like a curtain

knowing at last that nothing’s certain

and into itself folds like a flower

unlike a falling lover

I’ll die when I die

bye bye.


The Elephant Men

outside the bar

do not see the buildings

falling from the dark sky

in a row they stand whispering

while we walk

everywhere the darkness appears

and stands still

till it is drunk by our eyes

and the rickshaws speeding

slowing in pools of their own light

drive through these empty streets

back into the sky

where the night today

has no stars no moon

no light to show.


The above poem is from my second book Circling the Sky (2013).


An Afternoon In Daze

It is a piece of golden comfort

floating somewhere.

The buildings, three-storied,

old and lime-washed, are surrounded by trees.

Hulking guardian angels of the locality.

On Adenwalla Road outside,

taxis are parked around bends,

the drivers asleep on the boot.

Another road shimmers ahead,

dazzling like a river in the afternoon light.

My father and I are walking…

there is a sugarcane stall here,

the smell of beedi smoke…

How brightly this scene glows and glows!

The jingling of the crusher

still ringing in my ears.


The above poem is from my first book Reeling (2012).