Friday, May 29, 2015

Scraping skeletons

Beneath this skin,
Smoothly wrapped around
The bare bones, we are all
But skeletons, fairly homogeneous.
Each one born naked,
An assemblage of
Carefully cloaked with barks,
Some dark, some faded.
A smooth layer, that the rind makes,
Enfolding the chalky figures.
Deceiving. Deluding. Definitely
 Leading astray.
And all along, cozened
By this illusion
We shower sweet caresses
On charming surfaces,
Never bothering
To rake the cutis.
Some day
Our bloom and our strength
Will decay.
We will all
End up as
Not in the glory of skin
We wear

But a set of bare bones.

Courtesy : Friday Fictioneers

Linking with Friday Fictioneers

Linking with Velvet Verbosity : 100 Words Challenge : Smooth

Thursday, May 28, 2015

B is for ... Bucket Lists

There hang in my heart,
My bucket lists. Yes! There
In my heart and not on walls,
My "To Do before I Die" lists.
Of all sorts. A little ambition, some dreams,
Part contentment, part insatiable appetite.
Some things crossed with passing days,
More to cross off. Many to chose from.
Always incomplete,
The bucket lists ever growing,
The checklists of wonderful things that
I will accomplish some day. One day.
Before I die. Before this mortal dust
Withers away.
And I thank God with
All my heart for all this healthy yearning
He blessed me with. These lists, that keep me
Bursting with vigor. I enjoy ticking off the
Boxes from my lists, collecting souvenirs
The life has to offer.
I am alive. I have bucket lists.
And I am grateful for that.
Thank you God!

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

When the cats are away

All the cats are busy preparing for the farewell of "The Tomcat". So us mice are having gala free time. Way beyond the lunch hour. Hushed whispers growing louder. Muted laughters sonorous. Very many grapevines sprouting. The clowder fretting, the nest celebrating.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stealing a moment from Monday

Volvo or no Volvo, a 12 hour bus ride is definitely exhausting. So when I reach my destnation, the Delhi inter-state bus terminal, relief is exhilarating. And no the place does not extend an assausive, comforting embrace so characteristic to my hilly hamlet. It welcomes you with crass cacophony of a metropolitan that jolts you wide awake from your slumbers of the night before. So by the time I get off the bus, fetch my luggage and bargain with an auto-driver, finally making him succumb to my offer of 150 bucks (the metre works but only on papers), the four day visit to my hometown has already become a memory. The growing sun beats down whatever spirit is left in me as the auto crawls through Monday traffic on roads.
We are crossing the red fort now. The brick red pride of India with the Tricolor fluttering unrestrained. Trust me, you cannot help but feel awed by the striking splendor standing stoically amidst the lush green lawns. Delhi can be charming too, if it tries. But such moments are so rare and interspersed that more often than not Delhi is synonymous to a crazy frenzy. Atleast to me.
Digressions apart, we are crossing the red fort now in all its majesty. The place is largely by itself at this hour of the morning. The pedestrian-walks bare and stripped naked by the MCD workers. Save for one or two spots where the homeless have found free shelter. Yes, right outside the biggest monument of our liberation and emancipation as nation, you will often come across ragged and jagged people nesting in the twilights. They pack their bags by the morning only to return by the eventide.
Of the two such misfortunate, one is still sleeping, oblivious to the dawning of Monday morning. I envy his carefree sleep but then who knows he might have passed out on some drugs. The other one, a few steps further from the one sleeping, more animate, more sentient. Why I say so shall be clear in the narrative that follows.
Bare chest, his skin the shade of glistening deep brown wood, he sported mostly an even tan. His dhoti, soiled and greased, so much so that it is not possible to tell the color and stains apart. His feet cracked and soles blackened. His golden brown hair,beard and moustache, matted, tangled and knotty. His hands I can not see for one is hidden from view and the other hidden in an oversized canvas tote, equally soiled. His eyes lift skywards. Knowingly.
Suddenly a flock of birds appears, perching upon what seemed to be their regular positions, loud sonorous hungry bird calls resonating in the morning air, waiting to be fed. The hand in the tote moving hastily now, spreading the grains. He empties the tote and waits. The first of birds pecks the grains, followed by another and then many more follow suit. His expression that of pure exaltation. His eyes still skywards, his hand still in tote. Looking at his clowder with great satisfaction as it feeds.
The auto moves further with a loud crackling sound. But I carry the moment with me.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Mild incense lingers
Wafting and drifting wayward
Affirming my faith

A is for ... Abundance

Awed by the excesses
That surround me.
The abundant
The plentiful supplies
Of love, peace, contentment,
Affection and happiness,
From some never-ending reserve,
Ample, infinite,
And more.
Much more.
All needs provided,
And all greed humbled,
With profusion
And plenitude.
Blest thus,
Bowed in reverence,
Prayers rise
From the depths.
Gratitude for the
Countless joys
And boundless riches,
Those come my way
Each day, every day,
Sanctifying my being.
Ever thankful
For thy amazing graces,
Precious, treasured,
Valued and wanted,
And the nimiety of same,
And thy mercy too,
I revel in the ecstasy
Of being thy cherished child.

Linking with Velvet Verbosity: 100 words: Reverence
Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, May 19, 2015



The golden orb merging

Into a fiery orange,

Suffusing slowly to

A passionate red.


You permeated me


The deep blue blending


Mauve iridescence.

The dark violet remains

Consumed by the moonshine.

Grey, then black,

Then ochre.

Then light.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Not beyond the bills

"I love us"
Was not okayed.
The chiromancers
Mumbled unintelligibly.
I proffered to draw a new line
Cut too deep.
They shifted me yesterday,
To general ward.
You see,
It costs less
I have not been missed.

Tremors stay

The earth shook.
Then stopped.
His parents
Lay buried
In rubble and rain.
His little hands now
Ferry barrows of debris.
Ten bucks a round.
Enough to keep
The hearth warm
For him and his sister.
Another night passes.
Tremors stay.

Harm me and pay

The sidewalks
Shaded with life,
I tread with love.
The angels watch over me.
My soul with Lord,
I keep.
The sun forever
In my heart,
I know not the fear
Of nights.
The devil
Thinks twice
Before crossing
My path.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hard times

The cab driver’s leash
his glistening black hide.
Head high
and goaded often,
he made it till
the Ludgate Hill.
his exhaustion and their luggage
beat him.
His feet slipped
and the wagon toppled.
He rose again.
Leastways, tried.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


The xyris defied the grayscale background.
Bright bold yellow in the sameness of weather-beaten stones just on the other side of Sanjauli.
The cemetery had seen better days but now it lay in ruins. Forgotten. Disregarded. Displaced. Old. Some from the days of Britishers. Others New. Relatively new. Recent. Remnants of all kinds. Occasionally trespassed by the locals. Stealing a kiss. Holding hands. Sometimes remembered. But often the graves were left to themselves.
Expect for this one. Visited. Tended. Cared for. Remembered with a bunch of xyris. Daily, without a miss.
But this was not where Mrs. Alvarez was supposed to be. The xyris were supposed to be on her dinner table. Where she would be laying out the dinner for her family. Two little kids who would be fighting over study tables and playgames. And her husband who would be coming home after having put in a long day at the bank’s branch. That is where she was supposed to be.
And that is where she was headed. After having spent the weekend with some of her folks in Manali. The bus snaked through the lifeless humdrum of the afternoon. She was just behind the driver’s seat. Had two co-occupants next to her. Both ladies. Who had boarded from Mandi. Both snoring loudly. Well, who wasn’t?
Mrs. Alvarez. She loved the contours of the journey. She loved the winding and unwinding scenes before her. The loud and blaring local music over an old tape-recorder. The life. Untouched. Untasted. She didn’t feel like sleeping and missing out the lovely spread before her.
Thank God, she had the window seat to herself. She could look out over the greens and browns and weave stories in her mind. Stories that she would tell her children and lull them to sleep.
They were nearing the curves near Shalaghat. The hillsides here were embroidered with evergreen deodars arranged endlessly in neat rows and columns. The slopes strewn with brown twigs. Slippery. This was a stretch she loved.
A couple of blind curves here. Risky but not enough. Himachal had its share of more tricky routes than this. A cake-walk for a trained driver. But perhaps this one was an initiate. His maneuvers were not very smooth. And they had had near escapes at least on two occasions. But who was worried. More than half the bus was sleeping. The others in frivolous banter. And Mrs. Alvarez, lost in the beauty of hills.
The bus was tracing the curve, gently. But who had thought that they would run straight into a speeding truck. Thrown off guard, the driver lost control and balance both. The bus tumbled into the gorge.
Mrs. Alvarez never got a chance to say goodbye to her family. The body was mangled beyond recognition. The homeless from the woods took away all their possessions before the rescue could reach them. Without a phone or identity on her body, she lay in morgue for some two days. Her husband thought she had extended her stay with the relatives. And fresh rains in Manali had disrupted the telephone-network.
After two days, the police dutifully performed the last rites as per Hindu tradition and prayed for her soul to rest in peace.
A week later, broken and shattered Mr. Alvarez visited the spot where she had breathed her last. Then he had come home, or whatever remained of it, collected a couple of her things, and buried them in the Sanjauli cemetery.
The gravestone read,
Xyris Alvarez

I loved you so – ‘twas heaven here with you”.