Monday, 2 July 2018


I killed a plant today
after having displaced it from the nursery
it had sat on my table waiting probably
for this day it will

droop all its four fleshy leaves
and die
holding up only a signboard
telling me
doing nothing
that doing nothing is mindless
and it died not because

i wrung its neck out of the
soil but I just did nothing.
i look up at the dead plant
one last time and can think of
many other things nothing can be-

just sitting down
staring hard at the ceiling but not really
seeing the ceiling
lying in bed thinking you are asleep
not having a plan
not caring to have a plan
thinking nothing
saying nothing
doing nothing can be many things. like
forgetting to answer when someone asks
what's up

it is gone now
and I did nothing at all.

Monday, 19 March 2018

No art can change you

No art can change you.
Poems might brush your bones, movies
graze the nape of your neck, a
familiar touch you might soften to-
for a moment. The books map the
heart wandering in the wilderness
And yet your mind is steadfast to
All the yesterdays the sun set upon me
Like a drowning god and
When you wake up the day is just a
Dandelion flying past on the wing tips
Of a sparrow; you watch me
moan again.
Sip on some coffee like yesterday,
the day before and the day before that
You show no difference, indifference
you cannot see nor can I. But
when the night dribbles on us both
You know the ceiling has cracks,
The moon is bruised, and no amount of
paint will ever be enough
to paint it all white.
Van Gogh knew it so he ate his ears before
anyone could
History pages don't patch peeling walls
No Vivaldi can hold together unhinged doors
And by the time you realise art is just a
Ragged blanket we crawl under for the night,
Tomorrow is already lit fire and
beneath all of those ashes
We forget to smile

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A man I know
(from film screenings and art fests
in the city)
came upto me and asked
What I think of the 'Me too'
What can anyone think of it, 
really? Later, 
someone else asked about the
Aziz Ansari incident.
All I can tell you is I know
Aziz Ansaris in my life.
Meet, interact, fidget,
and forget
if lucky.
What I cannot tell you however
Is the ball of nausea that rolls up
from deep under my belly
to my head making it dizzy
when asked.
I do not think anything.
I do not think there's anything
To think.
You can mull over
A phrase. Or
Perhaps even a poem.
This is neither.
This is only a collective memory
of the stabs
We have received in
One lifetime.
I do not think there is anything
To think.


I have not seen a bullet
I live in a place
Relatively safe
It was an accident.
I know of bullets though.
The ones that paint
Bodies red
I know also the ones
You hold between your teeth and
Shoot every time
You hear a question
You don't want to.
It kills
Just like the other.
In this very time and space
As the history carved on his rough hands
Crawled all the way up
To mouth the question
You took only a moment
To bullet.
This is no accident
That you kill
His story
And all of ours too
Without painting your hands red
I live in a place
Relatively safe
Was the only accident ever.
You live on the side
Bullets never graze
Will be the only accident ever.
I do not tell her I dream of her
So often
She wouldn't want to know
On the eve of her birthday
I dreamt of
Cycling through the desolate 
country lanes to her house
The next day i forget to
wish her

I'm expected to
Over the phone or through a
greeting card.
We let in some silence in our
busy lives
And I never call.
I cannot tell her I dream of her
So often.

Monday, 15 January 2018

i am a dilapidated house you shall not stay in

before you begin, i should warn you
we come from different galaxies
you haven't seen me at crossroads, my toes
burying deep into the hotsand as my head
swells up ready to burst and balloon up into the air.
you couldn't​ stomach the blood i bleed on my bed
even as i chew on nightmares for breakfast,
clutch the bedpost and darenotunhook my grip
the reality's​ slipping underneath with
memories closing in

i can cut your throats to show you
what red smells like, the blood will then not
make you retch
nail your tongues that carelessly lick my wounds
with half-chewed words. no,
you haven't yet seen this glorious mistake
the earth bore out,
nor will you ever witness such colossal depths
in your safe cocooned happilyeverafter lives.
my poetry won't please you, my words
won't be the ones you'd listen to on lazy sunday afternoons,
i did not learn this goddamn language to wish you
they will pull you down from your high towers, and boy,
they are the fall when your dreams jolt you, know–
they will leave you splattered all over my pavement
like dissected frogs, and
i won't bother covering up. i won't dress you,

my mothers did not raise me to nurse men that happen my way

what will it take for you to see, i shall claw your eyes out–
you wear them like buttons anyway!
i will not stop midway,
this roadblock, these lanes, tree-lined avenues, not a
sightseeing landscape i will dig until the rocks lie upturned and
the brown sand burns your eyes so used to seeing sepia
and pink tinted postcard lives. my body will drill its way up
like an earthworm squiggling up your dining table,
cream white napkins, frosted cakes, and
neatly carved people,
i will crawl further up your face and bite
those pleasantries off of you. the stories i tell you
will be what your nightmares are made of. my presence
an eyesore, my words will scorch your tongue, and
you will fidget in your ice-cold chair, and i will still speak of it.
speak of it all until it
echoes in your grave, until the rivers
carry it and the leaves rustle to it. i will still speak of it
to the stones, your bones and see you lie
stone cold and still.

you should know by now
i am half-beast, meant to hunt your rats of privilege
you have gotten used to living with
for years. if you think i am civilized,
think again- i have learnt early
civilization translates to taming, you cannot
trap me inside of it. boy,
by the time you were learning to tie your shoe lace,
we were learning to cover up our knees.
you tell me now, 'make love not war', and i could think of a thousand tales
to show you how they are one and the same.

the land where i come from blood runs brown
and bruised. we are not soaked in turmeric
like your legends believe; we're baptized
in our own blood. grit and soil adorn my women
clenching beedi between yellowing teeth even
when rounded fists thrust our stories back into our throats, we spit-
we spit out saliva mixed with war and lust
and blood and semen our mouths
and minds could not un-taste. i know
they were all warriors before me, those women,
we would not have survived otherwise.
so when you come by me, you should know

i will be a wilderness
you will lose yourself in, a mess
you will get entangled in. enjoy sinking in
for a bit until you find yourself neck deep in chaos, revel in here
as much as you want to,
live inside my body as much as you want to,
peep into that well of a mind, take a sip of
my heart, but do not for once
try to overwrite me in your own tongues, i will pluck you
like a tick and blow you to the breeze; keep your knapsack packed.

because at nights the tears, the blood and hair and all of me
you did not want to see become mine again. all the stories of
heartache and cries will echo into my own ears
even before my lips stop quivering.
they are mercilessly mine and mine. alone.
and you cannot purge me into a cleaner mould.
you will downsize me to fit in your brain. boy, i am only meant for your
heart, you never learn that. nobody ever learns that.
no, i will not bite into that equality chip you offer. i know my
legs will forever stretch beyond your bed. and i know also
you are no Robinhood to chop them off.
i am a glass shard of a million galaxies, the
memory of a billion wounds, my tongue will cut you, again and
again and again. and one more time if need be. because silences
are our godmothers' softened breasts we have snuggled ourselves in
for too long. and outgrown from way longer. and if
you still try to fit me in your brain box, know that i am a shape-shifter
i run faster than quicksilver. my words in your ears
would be forever the distant hum of nightcreatures
you mistake for silence. now, you too shall leave.
well go now, unlearn me like your every yesterday

– i am a dilapidated house you shall not stay in

Sunday, 11 June 2017

i wanted to tell you

talk show host, you ask me to stick to
feminism. do not talk about lesbians​, you say,
stick to feminism.
i see feminism is hotcakes now. or do you prefer it be
women's empowerment? 
you've sold women's bodies for years, now
you sell us our rights
you've decided to give us freedom in
installments, a piece of pie we should be
grateful to bite.
i wanted to tell you i cannot see one from the other i cannot
remove it like a slice of tomato from cheese sandwich.
they do not bifurcate like your hypocrisy
and liberalism; the feminism i know is a hot pot mix of
race, gender, sexuality, caste and all of my people's voices
you've hushed in everyday holocaust. i wanted to tell you
i cannot pluck the odd petals out because you
like your flowers clipped. i cannot pit
one woman against another like you want me to,
the way you've done for ages.
weigh one more because she sleeps with
men like you unlike the other who prefers your sister.
i wanted to tell you lesbian women aren't werewolves,
dark sinister beings bent on snubbing
your manhood, burning mankind,
they're not nymphomaniacs you've heard
titillating tales of, or
fantasize and get a hard on when their
bare bodies blaze your computer screen for
sizzling minutes before vanishing
promptly into their mythical worlds.
i wanted to tell you, they're my sisters, my mothers, my grandmothers, my daughters, me,
with our sceptre-willed bones, mottled skin,
flesh and hair weaved into tales,
hearts grazed by terror, blood sucked out, living, breathing,
gasping in this sulphurous void you've created
to please your own sex, build your empires
for progeny on progeny so you can continue
thriving. cockroaches thrive i wanted to tell you,
you live off us, you've lived off us, made our
bodies yours, our minds yours,
our love yours,
our mouths, our tongues, our aeons of lives, and
even our stories of births and deaths
live off us, emptying sperm after sperm into
all of those wombs you've no right to and
casually call it a Summer wedding at the plaza, and then
tuck us into your attic when we shriek your madness out.
i wanted to tell you your race is doomed the moment
you started seeing​ love
as the hallway to marriage.
i wanted to tell you that we will no longer
cut ourselves to fit in your trash box
you call equality, for
we're not plastic figurine for you to make
legos out of our limbs. i wanted to tell you
anonymous was a woman for hundreds of
years and yet she survived. so go,
take the back seat now, feminism will do
just fine without you, i wanted to tell you