Wednesday 31 May 2017

The Betrayal - A poem.

In the vicious grip of a nightmarish dream,
far beyond the grasp of reality’s realm,
I thrash my limbs in a silent scream;

My eyes are on fire, with every unshed tear,
as I fight a nocturnal war, with demons that jeer,
I’m jolted awake, frozen in crippling fear;

I jerk up among tangled sheets, in a tormented rush,
every pore of my skin has released a toxic flush,
I muffle my sobs, as my heart whispers ‘Hush, baby, hush!’

Why, oh why, did I give him such power?
I’d ignored the signs, when the relationship had begun to sour;
Hadn’t I always known that he wasn’t a worthy lover?

My restrained sighs revolve around his betrayal,
I’m left breathless, wasn’t my love true and loyal?
My mind reels in an orbit of constant denial…

Residual feelings hum like perpetually mocking birds,
they strangle my throat, like soured curds,
my soul has withered & died, smothered by his lying words.

‘Oh, get a grip!’, commands my mind, ‘for you have only yourself to brace…’
I throw my arms around myself in an awkward embrace,
& tell myself ‘Stay strong, Babe, & soon, this pain shall vanish without a trace…’

Friday 26 May 2017

Flying Flowers

Sunny resplendent glow 
around every tiny seed;
Silky softness in sinuous flow
shiny fluff of milkweed...

I remember chasing these fluffy little things as a child. The feather-soft stuff can barely be felt on your hand and therein lies the charm of capturing these seeds. 

I'd chase these 'flying flowers' all around the place and finally manage to capture a portion of it in my hand. And then, I'd store it away carefully in the closed pages of some favorite book or the other. Miraculously, I'd never find them again, no matter how hard I looked.

Years later, I still chase them around whenever they appear within my range of sight. The child in me chooses to stay the same, no matter how 'old' I grow. The only difference is that, today, I'm able capture these little marvels forever in a picture, if not within the folds of a book. 

I got lucky one fine sunny morning, on the way to the gym, when I saw a bunch of these 'flowers' hanging on to a little shrub. Every little silken strand glowed brightly in the sunlight. Needless to say, I forgot all about my workout in the excitement of trying to get a good shot before they 'flew' away, forever.

I had no idea what these seeds are called, and as usual, Google came to the rescue. An odd combo of keywords on the search bar yielded the name as 'Milkweed', a rather apt name, for these milky fluffs of joy.


Sunday 21 May 2017

A Tiny Reflection.

Every tear I shed 
is a pain-filled reflection,
of the tortured memories 
of a tainted perfection.

It's always an amazing experience to take a walk in the garden, soon after a round of heavy monsoon showers. I try to never miss the opportunity to admire tender leaves awash in all their green glory, or capture rain-washed blossoms dripping little droplets of water from their petals. 

This was one such random capture. It was only later that I realized that I'd gotten luckier than I'd thought. The minuscule yellow flower with the pearly bead at its core, reflected within the tiny droplet, took my breath away.

You don't need to be a great photographer to get cool shots...Nature does most of the wonders for you. You only need to be at the right place, at the right time...and Bingo!

Monday 15 May 2017

Short Story 1 : The Anomaly

She remembered the exact moment when the nightmare had begun. It had been in the garden, in that corner where the jasmine creeper fought for space with the croton bushes.

If only she’d known why she’d tripped there for no reason. After all, she had lived in that house for all of her 14 years. She knew the garden like the back of her hand. Had she ever, ever tripped in her garden before?

But then, one never knows.

When had she realized that something was really wrong? Only a day later…when her right calf had begun to develop the rash, that progressed to a darker shade up her leg, to her thighs, by the hour. And the pain! Oh, the searing pain that shot through her leg had left her gasping for breath before the break of dawn.

Dr. Sharma had been…different. She recalled the panic in his eyes when he first looked at her leg. That look, that said ‘Oh no! Not another one!’ before the hood descended over his eyes.

Panic was what she recognized in Ma’s eyes too, that evening. The muted whispers in the living room that ceased when she was within earshot, told her volumes of what she didn’t want to know.

And then, Roma had called. It was all so weird that she she’d actually chuckled when her childhood friend had explained the ‘anomaly’, as she had worded it. A new virus? A damned virus that only attacked youngsters, particularly pubescent people? It was too outlandish to imagine.  But then, here she was, with a leg that had swollen to twice the size, the painfully open pores oozing awful yellowish fluids at regular intervals…

‘Is there a cure, Babaji?’ she heard the muted sobs emanating from the living room. Ma was inconsolable.

It was yet to sink into her consciousness, that she had less than a week to live.


‘You always chided her for being too dark, too short…that she’d never find a guy who’d agree to marry her…’, Didi’s voice broke, despite the  accusation laced within her tone. ’And now, she is dying...are you happy now?’

Her grandmother, for once said nothing. She knew that her elder granddaughter was only venting her agony. The agony that mirrored the guilt-ridden distress that gnawed at her own insides.

Shreya, the baby of the house, was going to die.


‘Ten thousand rupees’, said the Baba’s disciple with barely concealed excitement in his voice. ‘Not a rupee more, not a rupee less, auntyji’.

‘Let me talk to Babaji, beta…we have been visiting your ashram from 13 years now…Babaji has known our family since ages, he was very close to my father-in-law…’

Kamala’s desperate plea was drowned in the noise the din. The serene ambiance of the luxuriant reception of the ashram, now resembled the chaos of Johnson fish market on Sunday mornings. Except that the desperate people here weren’t buying fish. They were trying to buy the magical elixir of life for their loved ones.

Kamala removed her tiny clutch from the jute handbag she carried and sat down on the tiny wooden stool in the corner to count the currency. Only 7000 rupees. She would plead with Babaji to save Shreya…they could arrange for more money later…


‘How can there be no cure?’ Her father’s indignant tone barely concealed the fake bravado he tried to portray in front of his family.  ‘It’s just a virus, for God’s sake! We have cures for everything these days…and Shreya is so young , doctor…’

She didn’t want to hear anymore. All she could think of was, ‘Four days left to live…four more days, four days, four days…’


‘It has worked on 60% of the patients we’ve tried it on…at this point, we can only grasp at straws and hope for the best.’ Dr. Sharma sounded distant and exhausted.

The sting of the injection hardly registered in Shreya’s mind. She knew that she’d already lost her leg to the gangrene. She tuned out Ma’s constant chanting of prayers, while she applied the sacred vermilion and ash, procured from the ashram, repeatedly over her forehead.

Would the doctor’s medicine work? Or Babaji’s offerings?

Was it better to stay alive as a cripple for life…or was it better to die?

She would know by the next 6 hours. She would know how it was supposed to end for her by daybreak…or at least, her family would.

Shreya closed her eyes and slid into a dreamless sleep.

*** *** ***

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Hidden beauty: White Hibiscus

The most beautiful parts of me, usually go unnoticed...

Every flower has real beauty hidden deep within the folds of its petals. And these are the parts that are rarely noticed. Keen observation reveals the minute intricacies of the stigma and the beauty of the anthers...

This is a combination of colours that I love, the hues of the sun within a pale white background...a treat for the eyes, indeed.

I normally pass by the scores of hibiscus blooms in our garden without much cognizance to them, but then, every once in a while, these beauties do catch my eye. And I'm forced to pull out my phone to capture the moment forever...