There are always songs to sing

With time, everything is forgotten. Memories and dreams grow alike and interchangeable, and leak beyond the horizon of the heart with the certainty of sunset. They leave a residue of love and longing, that remain in our bodies and become our stories. My brother was 17 months older than me. When he was 7 years …

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A dance of feathers

I first jumped into the water when I was eight years old. It throttled my breath and made me discover the smell of chlorine. For decades thereafter, I was a mannequin of metal learning a dance of feathers in the pool. “Keep the body loose”, yelled the coach. His words pierced the surface and scattered …

Balderdash

When men grow bald they begin to look like each other. Men of all ages, nationalities, races and dispositions converge into one uniform nondescript facial signature – like a sculpture stripped of shape and left standing as a mass of unformed cement. When they congregate at a marketplace, they provide the perfect aerial camouflage for …

A moment in Tripoli

In 1999, I travelled to Tripoli to try and collect on a debt that was owed to my late father and overdue by a decade. I wrote this poem there even as I was writing off the debt.

An old & ordinary friend

He lost his father while he was still in his early teens. The confusing cusp between infancy and adult life, where an unknown outside world stands in sharp contrast to a simpler inside one. I didn’t know him well then and that event passed me by without a trace. My memories of him were that …

The Money Ceiling

My grandfather was a buccaneering entrepreneur. People often cautioned him to temper the scale of his risks and the expansiveness of his ambition. His pithy response to those concerns were that he came to Bombay from Kumbakonam in a dhoti and if required he would return to Kumbakonam in a dhoti. Inspiring fearlessness faces adversity …

Love beyond Language

The year was 1987. The lead protagonist stepped out of his office to quietly melt into an anonymous sidewalk in the closing scene of the film. I leave the theatre before the lights come on, surrounded by an evocative closing soundtrack. In slow and measured paces, I find my way into the 122 bus back …