Thursday 20 May 2021

A Death & A Funeral : A Poem

dear smartphone

thank you

for being there


for giving us

that last glimpse

of the dying one

shot by docs

weary ward docs

or resigned nurses

last moments

"Take me home, son!"

"Yes, ma!" 

he lied, she knew


crucial goodbyes

helpless, ruthless

necessary goodbyes


phone, you let us


all night, all day

Apart from each other

but together 

over your lines

shock, numb

at first. 

Then, resignation

crying, weeping


the Lost one


When did you see her last?

When did you meet her last?

Whose wedding? 

Which funeral?

Oh, she was so well, then!

Just three days ago, 

she was fine!

The Lost one.


phone, you allowed us

to grieve together

while far Apart


and now, phone

you let us

be part of what we couldn't


The Last rites

A funeral

Two attendees

One, the Son 

conducts rituals

a pseudo ceremony

the other, a relative

records the proceedings

broadcasts on WhatsApp


phone, you let the Father

watch his son

bid goodbye

to the mom 

wife, grand-mom


phone, you let the Daughter

scream in anguish

from abroad

she got to watch

before and after

phone, thanks 

for your zoom feature

such clarity too!

we got to watch

large labels

stuck on her body

Admitted on:

Death on:

scribbled dates and times

block letters

another record, a number

and of course, her face

if only a blurry face

through the tiny glass

of a mortuary van

an attender glances

at his watch

"Hurry, I've got more

to shift

to cremate, 

so many more

in the queue."

Last rituals 

a coconut, broken in halves

a lamp wick, flame trembles

some camphor lit

on a small rock -

a makeshift aarti

a flower or two

a murmured teary prayer

ceremony conducted

to the door

of a death van

closed, of course.

no hugs, no kisses

no touching, oh no.

from far, six feet at least.

customs followed

not customarily, of course.

we sniff, muffle sobs

wipe tears


over weak networks

"Stay strong"

that done & dusted mantra

Stay Strong

no choice


phone, you let us watch

and grieve

safe at home


in surreal shells of woe


stay-home goodbyes

stay-home funerals

what next, phone?

still shuddering,

anything more?


you let us 

grieve together

while far apart


Thank you, smartphone.


I Imagine : A Poem

drumming droplets
beat a rhythm
something inside me
misses you more

I reach out
drench myself
ruthless needles
wet my bare arms
prick my face

I imagine
your hard stubble
stings my softened skin
as your searching lips
explore & seek
before they find
& merge
firmly with mine

photography: Brian Brake

Bashful : A Poem

your seductive gaze
burns too deep
on my skin

jasmine fragrances
smell too strong
for my senses

alluring words
ring too true
to my desires

tenacious thoughts
are too tangled
to be trusted

the shadow of you
is too close
for me to breathe

image: pinterest

Empty Your Cup : A Poem

frozen tears 

bitter & beautiful 

taste of love 

truth of scars. 

lush groves 

laid barren 

as lost graveyards. 

empty your cup, lady. 

a heart full of ghosts 

of the past 

cannot admit 

new blessings 

knocking on its walls.


This Desire : A Poem

and this desire

blazed like the sunrays
burning the nerves
beneath my skin

eyes sparkling
 with the stars 
 of a 1000 dreams 
as if spun on velvet horizons 

 I've lost count of climates 
that clung to my shore 
Not one of them was wintry 
for you were the Sun 
that warmed my door

image: pinterest

To Miss You : A Poem

teach me how
to miss you
will you?

sunsets glow
all I do
is breathe
in, out
in, out
you, you

Waters flow
while I
am busy
living you

time is slow
all I try to be
is You

No, I do not know
how to miss you
I'm too busy
loving you

image: socialnewsxyz

My Dreams : A Poem

did I tell you
my dreams?
simple ones, really

kissing in sunlight
sharing peanuts
by the sea

splashing feet
mountain streams
deliciously icy

holding hands
fragrant glades
green & grassy

hugging tight
the fireplace
inhibitions flee

simple dreams
set me free

image:bored panda

Sunrise : A Poem

Slowly but surely

he rose to dispel the dark of the earth & the grey of the sky. We wake, Alive to yet another day of hope despite the clouds amidst silent silhouettes of the dawn.

Thunder : A Poem

Thunder, the villain 

brings with him 
summer showers 
soaks the earth 
as parched as 
my heart 
that drinks up 
your love 

Thunder, the demon 

makes rivulets flow 
as fast as 
the heated blood 
in my veins gush 
in your memory

Thunder, the brute

alights upon inky skies roaring his romance as loud as my need to bury myself in your embrace Thunder, the beast growls his presence long after his fire lights up the dark as brightly as your words illuminate my days Thunder, the savage...

images: pinterest

Someday : A Poem

someday I will pen letters but post none to thee someday they will reach you & unravel our mystery someday you may read them & know what you meant to me someday you will see Us in my epistolary someday when I would have become history

Radiating Rays : A Quote

Radiating rays and smiling joys are still blooming around us, as a reminder that there is Hope for a brighter tomorrow

Time To Bloom : A Quote

Everything that must happen in life has its own time frame to happen properly. 

Flowers bloom only at the right time, irrespective of those around them. 

Trust the universe to give you the best you deserve, when it is time for you to bloom into the best version of yourself.

Friday 7 May 2021

Book Review of 'Linger When You're Gone' by Chitra Padmana

This is my 45th read of the year, a book I’d saved since a long time because I knew it would be a good one. And it was well worth the wait – I absolutely enjoyed the fast-paced psychological thriller, with oodles of suspense that left me with ample goosebumps to keep the pages turning.

A special mention is in order for the top-notch vocabulary and delightful language, which is quite a rarity in a large number of Indie novels being published of late.


The storyline is intriguing, spiced with wry humour, especially the scenes where Miris interacts with the police. The reader’s heart aches when Miris describes the woes of her condition, increasing the awareness of the challenges of living with Hyperosmia.

The story is structured between the past and the present, offering a good build-up of the suspense. The digs at the hypocrisy of society are not lost on the reader, even as one identifies with the dilemmas of a single woman battling with the demons of her past. 


Miris is an engaging protagonist who keeps us on the edge of our seats with the building suspense of her past and the mounting sense of danger that she is embroiled in.

Sameer and Saira are endearing characters who provide just the amount of fun, relief and romance to the plot. I especially loved the way the easygoing and yet deep bond between siblings is showcased in the book.

Roy is a fantastic antagonist, whose menace is crafted with just the right amount of finesse and aplomb.  


The best theme I liked was the concept of Hyperosmia - hyper sensitivity of the sense of smell - that carries the whole premise of the tale. It is the first time that I have come across a thriller that is pulled off with something as unique as this.

Obsessive love isn’t a new theme in novels, however Chitra Padmana has infused it with a new tinge. Although some parts of the mystery are somewhat predictable, the knots get tied up neatly in the end.

Conclusion and Rating

This one is a must-read for thriller lovers, looking for a whole new pattern of storytelling. Goosebumps are guaranteed, even as reader might begin to feel a heightening of their own sense of smell, with each turn of the page. This is a story that will linger on your mind, long after you’re done  with it.

I give a clean 4.7/5 for this novel. (5 stars on Amazon). Chitra Padmana's work is promising; looking forward to her next one with bated breath already, pun intended.


Alive: A Quote

Be aware of the beauty 
that keeps blooming 
around us, as a 
reminder that 
we are blessed to be alive

Light Divine : A Quote

Believe in the light

that always radiates

from the unlikeliest of places.

Glowing Clitoria shine the Aparajita divine...

Filter : A Quote

 Some clicks speak to us, like messages from above.This one seemed to say:

Filter... the good from bad & retain the true the red from the fad & retain soothing blue the beams noxious or sad & retain rays of healthful hue Filter...


Secure : A Quote

Stay secure in your own bubble, while you reach out to offer an amiable vibe, a kindly thought, a heartfelt condolence or a helping hand.

Good Times : A Quote

If there have been good times before, better days will be here again. Until then, make the best out of what you have. Let the good memories last, until better ones are made again

Heart's Ague : A Poem

velvet fires rekindle he fans her flames again sleeping scars tingle with forgotten pain

latent scents mingle with hints of pheromones potent feels entangle with haywire hormones

bleeding colors fumble gold, scarlet, blue a mystic ensemble heals her heart's ague.

Untamed : A Poem

Runaway dreams
haywire thoughts
a high of exhilaration

shuddering trapped sighs
soothing deep breaths
a calming exhalation

creases of heart
crevices of mind
smoothen in reunion

subduing untamed feelings
reigning in emotions
I'm in control, again.


Books 25-44 of 2021

I've been reading a whole lot of books though I stopped reviewing all of them. I'm trying to pick up varying genres and mixing them up only to ensure a comprehensive reading experience.

Amongst the thrillers were the works of Tilly Bagshawe, Gillian Flynn, CarolynArnold, Rich Curtin, Paul Knox and others. I have posted mini-reviews for some of them. 

Book 39 of 2021: Final Arrangements
by Rich Curtin. I enjoyed the brilliant deduction & steady investigative prowess of Manny Rivera - deputy with a heart of gold. Superb Utah mystery. Rated 4.7/5

Book 40 of 2021: Ties That Bind
by Carolyn Arnold. Nice twists and turns, though somewhat predictable. Knight is an interesting character study - brilliant, lonely & at times, annoying. Rated 3.6/5

The longest read however, was Book 41 of 2021: A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul. It was a tough read, a bit slow in the mid portion but became engrossing towards the climax. It captures the challenges & frustration of the Indian diaspora, through the lifelong, poignant struggle of Mr Biswas & his search for independent identity. I rate it 4/5.

Book 42 of 2021 was Wisdom Spring
by Andrew Cunningham. A gripping, fast-paced story, touching romance, thrilling suspense & danger, with a delicious twist of the surreal-paranormal. Enjoyed immensely. Must read, rated 4.7/5 by me.

Book 43 of 2021 was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It is a gripping suspense with regular twists in storyline. Interesting mirroring of a marriage between unconventional, yet human characters. Thriller lovers may enjoy it more. I rate it 4.7/5.

I also enjoyed some easy reads - kiddie books in between hardcore thrillers, just to ease off the tension of the gory reads. One of them was Steven Whibley who keeps readers entertained with funny, endearing and sweet characters, while the stories remain usually unpredictable. I read the first three of the 6th Grade Revengers series and intend to read more. Enid Blyton's Famous Five 3-in-one was a joy as well. 

I hope to keep you all updated on my future reads too. Till then, stay safe! 

Happy reading, Readers!