Your Porcelain Doll

You ignore me with a purpose Believing that a cloud of unknowing Will soon set in between us And all will be professional, and knowing Like how a plastic doll knows another plastic doll Let us make a compromise. You be as beautiful as you are Take me as your porcelain doll And...

This is You, Seeing Me

(On stage, she is sitting crouched, lamenting, wailing and cursing Death who is standing quietly, about five feet in front of her, with its back to her.) If you are so focused on not seeing me What is this urge in me then To make you feel what I feel You must see someone else As...

The Shape of Love

One by one you left You, then you Now, on this cold early hour Of the morning memories I translate everything you were Into everything you meant I should not live in the past, they say I should move on, they say “Get a life you mean,” I sigh Like a double sash round...

After Separation

So bright you are You said Too bright for me So sharp you are You said Too sharp for me So much love I have You said Too afraid to say how much Too much to speak in words Staying back You shine Like those vitreous Streets of Qianmen Staying alone I remain Like that shadow...

A Man Like Me

Crushed, I turned inward “Whatever’s wrong with me,” I kept muttering to myself, “That she wouldn’t even look at me.” Then suddenly taken aback, I saw, That all these “I”s and “me”s Keep getting in the way All at once...

Poems, while thinking of S.

SSSigh…!

Like when the wave, after splashing you as if you were a child, Recedes, as if you were a stranger As if you will muddy her waters She too, began her indifference God, tell me, why everything Turns out like You...

Keeping Your Shoes Clean

What if I look straight on While you look at me As we pass by And your heart leaps And catches my shirt button Do you think I would hold it carefully And put it in my pocket, forever mine? Or would I let it fall in my...

Isn’t It Better to Be Me, Than to Be Her?

I write these poems imagining   That you are reading them Which then makes me imagine   That you are seeing the heart of me And that convinces me   That you are touched by it And that therefore you will begin To see me...

Revenge Poem

How long are you going to smile a public smile when you see me Sweeping me out the door of your kindness and grace How long am I to go on feeling a private guilt when I see you Hoping one day you will see the chains you...

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Recollections

Dear India, Dear Friend

How sweet it is, to feel your love
In your patronizing wishes
To find me a purpose
In your all-knowing maharshi

A Letter To My Autobiographer

See see see, I am here, right here you see. First you turned me on. Turned me like a marble, from words of garble. Round and round in your fingers, round and round in your head. Only a first draft You said, Wait till...

Signature of My Wife

Days are going by. And I hold you With content that comes from imagining you A steady hand, Calming my restlessness Those searching anxious eyes Staring at unresolved questions And, Brightening quietly on seeing me Such...

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Poems, when crushed by B.

She starts with S

HE: I am logging off, Signing off, Booting off, Turning off, Starting off, Going off, And zooming off… All these offs Just to land in your heart…sigh! SHE: You, my friend, Need to listen to my advice And get...

Are you happy now?

We were blind once. We didn’t speak once. We didn’t know once. Then. Then…? We spoke a lot, First to ourselves, Saying “Is this real?” Then to each other, In whispers. I said I am nothing...

Broken begins with a B

Suddenly awake, head flooded with A painful “thud” that made me cringe in pain. Stupid alarm radio. Always does that. It began its song already, ignoring me. Sleep. It never comes to me free of images. Now...

B, Imagining You With Your B.

He asks me, "Do you remember?"
"The Peet's Coffee place?"
"The bell we heard at the train tracks?"
Almost reaching to hold my hand

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On Translations

Our six year-old

“Did you notice?” You said once. “How I don’t address you by name?” “Did you wonder why?” Then we smiled At each other … We then leaned Toward each other “Did you...

Macrolove – N

First cold hands, then warm you Soon sheets of macrolove Enveloped me and you Like a front that’s come in “You silly,” you said “It doesn’t die,” you said And now, fat raindrops Fall...

On the Shores of My Grave

A wave of somethings appeared out of nowhere Thoughts, recollections and some debris Some, questioning if my memory is true Others, smiling with kindness at me— but still unhappy at my worries That I didn’t create...

23 and You and Me

One look, one word
And I died everyday
I didn’t kiss you
Now, after 23 years
I still live
For one word, for one look
And for one kiss
To encode life
Into my 23 pairs

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With Amma

On "All Things Unforgiven"

Road to Brooklyn Book Festival

Sometime in the middle of 1978. Old city of Hyderabad burned with Hindus and Muslims killing each other, and the police killing everyone. Early May 2003. “Characters should behave unaware of the future that lay ahead of...

Sources Of Inspiration

Going through my notes, it is clear that I am inspired significantly by literary criticism. George Steiner, Richard Blackmur (R.P. Blackmur), John Bayley, Edward Wasiolek, R.F. Christian, Richard Gustafson, Gary Saul...

“It Is The Story Of …”

July 8th, 2003 It is not a story of characters where it is clear immediately who is in the wrong, with dark evil intentions and good intentions. No. It is the story of helplessness in the face of one’s own...

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... and the rest

Saaranga English

After an intense 2-month work including a complete front-end overhaul, Saaranga Magazine is now relaunched, with a new English section. Magazine here, and my article, How will they receive me, for the inaugural edition.

p80 “Oliver Twist”

He wandered over them again. He had called them into view, and it was not easy to replace the shroud that had so long concealed them. There were the faces of friends and foes, and of many that had been almost strangers...

Mundane Words

When people gather together, the first thing they do is to tell each other the purpose of why they are there. They begin by reciting their purpose, and the very reasons of being there. This exchange somehow moves the...