Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Satellite Apartments

in space
for aliens
or humans

38,000 miles per hour

within earth's orbit
sunrise sunset
every hour


being thrown out
by internal controls
or external objects
or gravitational
or magnetic forces

other planets

galactic debris
or stars
or whatever

its longevity uncertain
as when terrestrial
so also orbitally

Sunday, October 29, 2017


The Colossus holds up the sky.
He can't remember for how long 
since he was torn away from a cliffside 
and tortured with chisels 
and propped up 
and consecrated 
and prayed to 
and frozen into place 
by expectations.

The sky looks angrier 
than his unmoving eyes have seen. 
It was a burden 
which his broad shoulders could support; 
now it threatens like an enemy. 
It couples with earth 
to rock him on his pedestal. 

He must uphold. 
He cannot bend. 
If he falls, ashes. 
We all fall down.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a play by Tennessee Williams adapted for film in 1958 and again in 1984, was one of the earliest cinematic productions of Williams' work. The 1958 film, directed by Richard Brooks, starred Paul Newman; Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie the Cat; and Burl Ives. It was nominated for six Oscars.

As much as the original play was recognised in the theatre, the film was a great entry into the popular imagination for Tennessee Williams. It was very polished, even though it was hard for people to appreciate Williams. He was always enigmatic, difficult to understand: almost, given the period of his creative years, bordering on mild to extreme perversion; or else misunderstood.

For more information and a plot summary, see Wikipedia.

The American Consulate in Chennai had a regular program on book discussion, where the learned heads of teaching institutions, and writers, were invited. It amused me that at the end of a discussion of Tennessee Williams' work which I headed, several of these gathered around me with curious questions: How did I know Tennessee Williams so well, when others hardly understood him? Had I met him personally? I replied that not only had I not met him but honestly, I had not even read the book, except for the text on the cover and a couple of random paragraphs.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Furling and Unfurling

the sun
furling and unfurling

a new day
a new beginning
a new arrival
a new departure

the new 
as in old

Bhashwati wrote:

The words,

A new departure

the new
as in old

holds the key. 
The day furls even as it unfurls, the hours of light pass into the depths of darkness. The same familiar cycle forever and yet often the heart craves and the mind yearns for lasting light, for arrivals divorced from departure, for life free of death... as if such were even possible. 
But if conscious life must live, it can only do so by denying all consciousness of reality.

And the image brings to mind an old song by Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Javed Akhtar's father, : 

Katra katra pighalta raha aasmaan
Rooh ki waadiyon mein na jaaney kahaan
Ik nadi dil ruba geet gaati raahi

Sunday, October 22, 2017


either beginning or end
first stirring of life
or the last image
chanced upon by
aged unseeing eyes

an image
of dawn or dusk
of beginning or end
not seen but felt
before the last breath
from scattered pieces
of mind

last breath
in wondrous glow
of dawn or dusk

Friday, October 20, 2017

Memories Overlapping

memories overlapping
other memories
likewise overlapping others
until they diffuse
and fade away
into nothingness

Bhashwati wrote:

What an unbelievable composition with what a wide range of elements in the same frame.
Vaise i dont get it why people chase that elusive being called god when there is the miracle called light that one cannot admire and worship and appreciate enough.
And how you manage to play with it is no less miraculous.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Life, the Alluring Prison

My offering, with a thousand salutes, to all my fellow prisoners.

Ek haseen haseena zindagi
khamosh tammana
berahm aasmaan ke niche
bhitar baahar

A beauty, life beautiful
silent yearning
under the merciless sky
within without

Thursday, October 12, 2017


as in unaware
of good and bad
happiness or otherwise

wise beyond wisdom

Sunday, October 01, 2017