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).


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).

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.


I Was Walking

down the streets

bored with myself

the shops the buildings

in the evening light

looked even more bored

with themselves

my hands were chilled

with loneliness

my mind was lost

in isolation

then I saw the moon

tailing me

I turned down a road

and there it was

a few paces behind

and when I finally

entered a bar

and went up the stairs

it rolled over my shoulder

and died in my drink.


Left Blue

by brown-and-cream trains

red BEST buses

I travel in black-and-yellow autorickshaws


through the neon burning

green orange fluorescent


and think how much the withered darkness holds…

how the broken stars’ sob stories

keep the golden sand

awake at night

and the sea sniffling…


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


The Piercing Arrow Of Unhappiness

My mind is a lost mountain

I have no clue of its colour

my body I don’t know

am I a crocodile

what is my language

what do I croak

and why are

the crows cawing

did this green morning

take my life

why are the buildings

so gloomy so grey

they must be sad

like me

they must be mad

like me

O what a sight

such an unhappy light

there is no more sky

it is dead it went to sleep

long ago the children

sat in the old

and crumbling staircase quiet

how the heart stings

in the silence

I search for myself

hello lost I cry O world no more.


First Rain

of 2014

June 4

I have cleaned

my house

and sit on my bed

that has freshly changed


and myself


in my T-shirt

looking at the world outside

in the rain

how the light has changed

so early in the morning

to something so different

I sit here searching

what is it

I wonder in my heart

and it is so beautiful

this deep valley opens up

that goes on and on

and a cock crows

and I listen to the ensuing silence

I look at the houses

yellow green blue white

but it’s mostly the smell

and the coolness

and again the cock crows

and there I go

through the streets

through the swishing vehicles

their lights blazing

reds oranges golds

and all those fluorescent streetlights

like dreams

passing by the buildings

the gardens

of forgotten days

when I would walk in my windcheater

amidst the fallen branches

on the footpath

the crushed yellow laburnum floating

in puddles

I would look up as always

at the balconies

and sometimes find someone

picking clothes from a line

how sweet that used to be

but often it was the trees

and the dripping raindrops

dazed in green

that quickly carried me away

to those spots of skylight

where I wandered on

and walked till I reached the moon.


The above poem is from my third book The Branches (2015).



in the darkness at night there’s a movie in the sky

it’s always too good it’ll make you cry

as your life in trains and rooms go by.


Sometimes you’re in a train in the afternoon passing by

and the sea is so beautiful it’ll make you cry

and at night the stars come out to dance

and the moon climbs high.


Sometimes you’re at home all high and dry

and you’re doing some work by and by

and you see the birds fly slowly in the sky

and you look and look and quietly sigh.


Sometimes you’re at home sleeping at five

and you go sliding down your bed into the sea

and you wake up with the sound of your own cry.


Sometimes you’re on the street walking when you almost fly

and sometimes you’re bewildered that everything is a lie

hold your breath for a while that it might pass by.


Sometimes it’s best not to pry

and let things quietly lie

Sometimes it’s too much my oh my!



The above poem is from my third book The Branches (2015).


Cloud And Sky

and below that blue

and then the pale yellow sunlight

then red like fire

like a furnace

and finally the world

this is my morning

how the day is so silent

like someone sleeping

and I look and wait

for it to wake

some giant creature

of air

is it desire

that burns and cools

is it all in my mind

I wonder

and then

I think of death

closest of companions

and then the world slowly wakes

the windows open

and I smile.


Right Now

I would like to be

in that huge airy market.

I want to be there

under its high roof;

the fisherwomen cackling

with their customers

and big fish hung from iron hooks.

I want to hear the sound

of knife chops on

worn wood,

the floor wet and slippery,

and rivulets of blood flowing down the drains.

I want to see black plastic bags

exchanged for cash.

I want to be there,

I want to be back there right now

in Wadala market

and watch the cat walk towards me

with a fish-head in its jaws.