Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chennai Times

It's summer time and blazing hot,
there are mirages on roads and 'easy', life is not.
 We try to avoid going out in the sun,
But we still end up having fun.

Eating ice-creams and biryani,
and sitting by the hot blue sea.
I think a lot of my weight,
making diets and marking dates.

I think I must eat lightly,
and be sweat free and slim and sprightly.
Until I end up having sweet tea,
or I end up eating biryani.

We talk about corruption with anger and hate,
while we inch toward the toll gate.
We pay GST reluctantly,
and watch political drama unfold on TV.

We try to catch the IPL match and support CSK,
and discuss it like we discuss rains, on this summer day.
We hate the TV serials and wait for movies instead,
We walk aimlessly in the malls until we are ready to drop dead.

 We earn and spend almost equally,
We fret about retirement continuously.
until we go out and order biryani.

There are many types of biryani you see,
basmati, jeera samba, bamboo and hyderabadi.
we discuss the flavour of spices and taste at length,
comparing shops and prices and taking more time than we meant.

According to the Oxford dictionary,
Biryani is highly seasoned dish of rice, meat and served with gravy,
It is a Asian delicacy, improved over generations, for you and me.

My mouth waters as I write,
I wonder if I can manage to have a biryani tonight.
I know it makes me fat and reduces my life expectancy.
But why live without having biryani.

Though I crib and cry,
about things I cannot control and sigh,
I do not control my urge you see,
when it comes to eating, sleeping or having biryani.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

That beautiful day

Home came the greatest treasure
Beautiful and miraculous without measure.
In my arms, like a bundle, I carried her,
Cuddled her to my heart and held her near.

She had the most innocent face,
The tiniest feet and the warmest embrace,
My world was on fire, love was burning all around me,
Only her eyes, her smile, her hands I could see.

My body ached and my back strained,
My eyes hurt and my legs pained,
But the pain was wonderful and well worth my while,
After seeing my newborn smile

She cried and slept and fed and slept,
I smiled and fed and loved and wept,
My mother took care of us night and day,
Together we slept and played away.

Her father and her mother worried and prayed,
That she be protected and that goodness always stayed
Her heartbeat matched mine,
It was music most divine.

When I am down, in my mind I see,
The little baby who came through me,
As a blessing from God and then I say,
Thank you to God for blessing my everyday.

Love is scary, fragile, beautiful and blind,
It is also the best reason to exist, and the best treasure to find.
When worry and stress bind me,
Hope, love and belief sets me free.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happily Sleepless

Tonight is that kind of night,
When the inner light is too bright,
So brightly it burns that the body thinks it is daytime,
And all the sleep vanishes for no reason or rhyme.

In my waking state, in the dark, I dream away,
I search the net for beautiful and useless things, which I can never do in the day.
My baby grunts beside me and magical memories surround me,
I laugh, smile, sigh and old photos on my cell I see.

Sleepless am I when the city sleeps,
Chanting gods names doesn't help, nor does counting sheep.
It's a holiday tomorrow I think and shrug inwardly,
Forgiving myself of this anomaly and being alert and free.

Outside, the birds, the pets, the people are busy dreaming,
The full moon shines on me and I shine back, beaming.
My present state of mind is a happy mystery to me,
Unacceptable behavior as behavior can be.

I have two more hours of darkness,
Enough to ponder over my mistakes, make lists of cooking exotic sweets and cleaning up the kitchen mess.
Oh if only life was so simple and silly,
And the body didn't need sleep to keep it healthy.

Oh well, new year is round the corner now,
Now is the time to do things we love.
Happy happy holidays,
In the still of the night, the mind works in mysterious ways.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

ChennaiRains 2015

The southern city of Chennai was having a normal day,
Little did it know that in a few days it would be swept away.
The people of Chennai were going about their work,
Unaware that danger from the skies lurked.

The city with clogged sewers and encroachments began getting heavy rainfall,
The relentless downpour on the weekend disrupted traffic and affected one and all,
The citizens grumbled seeing the rain while at the door,
Now we have to get wet, they thought not knowing what they had in store.

The skies were black when Monday came,
The intensity of the rains was the same.
Braving the rains they reached their workplace,
Occasionally worrying about the weather while going about their daily work at the usual pace.
That evening they struggled to reach home because of the waterlogged roads,
The skies had opened and the drains were blocked and closed.

Weary from the travel, they called it a day,
While they were sleeping, the water level increased and it was raining away.
They then woke up to a fully fledged nightmare.
The lakes surrounding the city were full, the weight of the water they could not bear.
The municipal officers had no choice but to breach the biggest lake,
Angry water swirled into the usually dry river, leaving destruction and death in its wake.

The river water level rose and rose much to the peoples dismay,
Swallowed the buildings, the bridges, the roads in its way,
There was no way to stop the deluge and the water from entering their homes,
Angry river washed away roads and gates and lives amid cries and groans.

Power was shut down and phone lines were dead,
The city was dark, the skies were still angry, filling everyone's heart with terror and dread.
Parts of the city were submerged overnight.
For basic needs like water and milk, rich and poor alike had to fight.

In this darkness, people searched for light and hope,
Found that they had it within themselves and rose above the darkness to find a way out, to cope.
They formed teams, made food, got blankets and went in search of people in need,
For every cry, there was someone who would heed.
The crowd pooled supplies and sourced resources and tried their very best,
The army, the navy, the air force came in to take care of the rest.

Though the light was spreading, many lost their lives to the rains,
Cars, bikes, homes succumbed to the water which was supposed to go down into the drains,
Trash and sewage entered homes and lanes,
Diseases and displacement added to the pains.

Peoples homes were washed away,
Along with their savings and belongings, on that fateful rainy day.
Brick by brick the city needs to rebuild itself,
Prayer and hope should sustain it from within, along with love and help.

The infrastructure needs to be revamped,
Nature should reclaim its rivers, its ponds, its marshes and its swamps.
We must embrace change and work towards a better city,
A city devoid of plastic, open sewage, and illegal buildings, a city pristine and pretty.

We deserve a better place to stay,
Is something which people think and say.
So go do your bit to help Chennai regrow,
Good governance, good waste disposal and clean habits can make our city much better than the one we know.

Let us love ourselves enough and use the relief funds,
To build a better future for our loved ones.
Let us all overcome our sorrow,
And build for ourselves a beautiful city for a better tomorrow.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

On Top of the World

Above  the clouds, a 1000ft high,
where the world is silent and the powerful jets fly..
Life has a new meaning and shape,
the silence and the view provide a beautiful escape.
The earth is no longer flat and the rivers are no longer huge.
The sun is no longer small, and we can no longer hear the birds call.

Over the clouds and above in the sky,
where the powerful and the shiny planes fly,
We can marvel at the achievements of modern man,
and the technology we don't fully understand.
The million circuits and signals which make the flight airbourne.
The powerful engines which transport people from dusk to dawn.

At night, from above in the sky, we can see the bright city lights,
The view is beautiful with the city shining - brilliant and bright.
The haze of pollution is not visible from here,
The city population shrinks to your known friends, your near and dear.
The blinking lights of the plane give you a reassuring feel,
The trip accross the night does not seem like a big deal.

Some people don't don't appreciate flying, they don't care,
they just complain about the food, fuss about the time and at the airhostesses, they stare..

I just want a window seat with a view,
to look at the magnificent landscapes which seem alien and new.
 I love the sight of the molten sun rising slowly,
and the sight of the city buildings standing tall and telling their own story.

I wish someone invents wings soon,
so that I can feel the wind in my hair as I fly across the moon!
We aren't blessed with wings like birds but we sure can dream,
Of beautiful sights, wonderful adventures and incredible scenes.

The Saint and the Old Man by the sea

The Saint, wise and holy, had travelled far and wide.
Across lands, atop mountains and along lonely tides,
coaching and helping people with sermons of love and kindness,
the poor, the dying and the lost souls, he would care for and bless.

He is old and greying now after devoting a lifetime to the suffering and the needy
With no family or close friends, he wore his old age with dignity.
He decided he would make his last stand by the shores of a rough sea.
And when death beckons, he would pass away silently.

He made his home there and everyday, he would listen to the sound of the waves,
and the roar of the distant thunderstorm and the steady calling of the graves.

One day on the shore, he met an old man sitting on the rock alone,
smoking his pipe and humming a song, while carving skillfully on a stone.

"Hello my man! how are you today?", he asked.
the man replied, "As always, carefree, gay and occupied with some task."
"Have you had a good life so far?"
"Oh yes! I was a sailor and I sailed the 7 seas,
and have traveled the world like the sun and stars."

"But have you cared for people and helped the folks around you?"
"My one captain always said 'Every man for himself' and I have known it to be true."
The Saint shook his head sadly and said "So you have done nothing worthwhile."
"Never comforted a hungry child or offered a dying man a smile"
"That must be difficult for you to live by."
"Without a kind word or a deed, we are nothing you and I."

The sailor stared at the saint and then at his hands and said
"My whole life I have been at sea",
"But no regrets I have met. I am as happy as can be"
"I fished in the trawler once and gave my catch to a poor market for free"
"I have journeyed accross the Atlantic thrice, carrying biscuits, fruits and tea"
"I have saved a few dolphins once, from a deadly oil spill"
"and a child from the ocean water chill."

"I once met a beautiful girl and married her by a beach at sunset,"
"And loved her and our son, till that frightful storm cause their early demise."
"I then waged war with the weather as I sailed into the lands unknown."
"Discovered islands and gave them their names, as I continued to mourn."

"The years went by and then One sunset, I saw a fish struggle for freedom in the fishing net."
"I then decided that I would set myself free - from grief, humanity, misery and sorrow"
"And that I will live life like there is no tomorrow."

"I scrounged the sea for riches and I found treasures beyond belief,"
"As if the Gods themselves were giving me relief."
"I also realized that God exists and that an image of God I could see,"
"In the eyes of a baby whale and in the beauty of the sea."
"I await my death now, at peace and completely carefree."

The Saint was shocked. He had no idea of this sort of happiness.
"What did you do with the treasure my friend?"
"I gave to the town and to the widows of the sea"
"So that fortune may smile on them like she smiled on me."

The Saint smiled and sat by him,
Two old men silently looking at the unending sea,
both having lived their life to their satisfaction,
and waiting for death, happily.


Monday, April 13, 2015

A Miracle

Her world sees the morning sun,
shining on her house,
she wakes up and breaks into the usual run,
and hurries to the office in her black trouser and white blouse.

Her day passes in a dream,
meeting and greeting people she has never seen,
after she has spoken and lunched,
she spends the rest of the day in front of her computer, serious and hunched.

She reaches her home after the sun sets, when the moon is bright,
she tiredly makes dinner and is then out like a light.
sometimes she laughs with her friends,
sometimes she buys clothes of the latest trends,
sometimes she visits her parents and brothers in her native place
sometimes she cooks for her relatives from her home base

The days simply blended into years,
she still has no time for happiness or tears,
One day when the sky was a brilliant blue.
she woke up and decided on what she would do.

She would go by herself to a resort by the beaches,
pamper herself, eat a lot of food till she bleaches.
she would break herself off from her daily routine,
Today, she would treat herself like a queen.

So, she packed all the trendy dresses she never wore,
said goodbye to her world and walked out of the door.
The beaches were serene, the crowd was sparse but she was full of glee,
she splashed in the water, sang songs with the hotel singer and swayed to the music happily.

While leaving, she bumped into a man with happy eyes,
and chatted with him the whole day, the whole night, until sunrise.
He was a traveller, his world was colorful and strange,
his words were like poetry, beautiful and powerful.

His eyes reflected the sun as it rose,
'what will you do today?  he asked softly.
'nothing important, that's for sure', she said morosely.
' then why don't you come with me to Spain, be a traveller, sing in the wilds and dance in the rain'.
She thought of a thousand reasons to say no, but they all slipped her mind, in vain.
' but will that make me happy', she asked desperately and sadly, trying not to cry.
'not sure my lady, there is only one  thing that can make you happy from birth and until the day you die'.
He pointed down and she looked at her reflection until the water retreated into the sea.
It's not the when and how or the why and what for, she realized and the thought set her free.

' I was happy talking to you', she said laughing.
' but we didn't say anything of importance and that proves that happiness is not a result of anything'
Smiling, she nodded and said 'you changed my life in one day but don't really know me.
Let's meet after my office hours and then decide what we can make out of today and see'

So then they returned to their respective lives.
The traveller travelled and the engineer strived.
But they were both happy souls now.
Happy, stupid, healthy and free.
And they lived their lives and thrived.

She married a wonderful guy her parents chose,
He merrily globetrotted for a decade until he fell for a woman full of woes.
Happiness like entropy increased with every passing day.
Every hour and every way.
Life is a miracle, a beautiful dream,
Inspite of what it may seem.