Wednesday, October 7, 2009

an untitled love poem

O. Henry!
On a thorn, your nightingale bled
to death, to make the white rose red
all night, for the beloved.

Oh nightingale!
give me your courage
so that I too am bled
till my rose is red.

The beauty- parlour

Having your body
massages, rubbed, cleaned
by other women
is deeply relaxing.
there is an ease, a letting go
revealing body to body
the free, open nudity
of women among women.

But the mantra ia fairness
fair is good. fair is lovely.
fair is the desired ideal.

Well, but I am dark
And what if I like darkness?
and want to revel in it, love it,
making it wholly my own?

The Dark Night

The dark night
pads quietly in
making no sound

The dark night
warm, soft
gently embraces the world

The dark night
envelops, encompasses
silence binds separateness together

The dark night
is a time of rest
when hearts mend and heal themselves

The dark night
and its silence
lead me to greater clarity

The dark night
with its moon, is a friend
not an enemy we are afraid of.

two pairs of eyes...

two pairs of eyes
locked together
in intense gaze

the silence is palpable
dense with weight of the unspoken
feel it, touch it

the moment if fleeting
eyes are averted
it's over. it's all over.

Haunting memories linger.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Violet sky
pinned with moon and star
friends in open terrace
laughter, chatter
spiralling smoke of hookahs
comfortable rumble of bellies
well efd on chocolate and italian cheese
one of the moments of "Being"
matches lit in darkness, oases in desert
that keep life going...

Undying faith

twisted and gnarled in ugly shapes
formed, deformed, crafted, made
unmade stories, words of mouth.

they sought and fought to kill it
stamp it out. clash after clash
it survived, blind

knowing neither right nor wrong
this ceaseless flame of devotion, worship
this undying faith.

A party

A party
closely knit, we live
each talking a language
different, same, all at once
head, legs, arms
mind, heart
run helter skelter thither
but strive to merge converge
the best-est of faithful friends
Me, Myself, and I.

Door handles

People are rooms with doors
with opening mechanisms
and handles
round, easy, smooth
or crooked, creaky
grating harshly when they open.
some have difficulty opening
or find it hard to shut
round or polished or lean or
thick or grumpy or bright
with different knobs
and keys of unlocking secret treasures.


There's a smell in yellowed
much thumbed pages fo old books
I bury my head into them.

There's an individuality in each
much loved poem, book
book ends, old friends.

There are personalities, memories
hidden in handwritten letters
I gently rub my lips against them.

a lovely, comforting smell hidden
in hot cakes from the bakery, in good food
in the open freshly-wahes hair
gently caressing my back

pen-paper inviting me to write
listening to deliciously romantic songs
as I nod off to sleep, late nights

this is where I come to
when I hide-away.
the singing rain
music in the wind
the laughing bereze
as it tickles and caresses
the trees.
bright flowers peeping
through the wet, fresh green
glimpses of poetry.
Nature is a child again
rejoicing, celebrating
infecting, inviting us
to join in her play.
to see greys
between blacks and whites
merging into one another
certainty of meaning or
deconstructing all meaning?
finding in-betweens
joyful, colourful plurality.
adrift, afloat
a raft on a river
(beset with doubts
aimless journey without end)
needs to flow with the river
but needs to steer, paddle, row.

to find my own meaning
to flow with the river
but to create my own course.

a tree gives of itself

nurtures, bears fruit and flower

only cos it is at peace

with itself, accepting each leaf

even tiny , scrawny ones.

(only dead leaves are shed)

rooted, grounded firmly in place

the sun may scorch its leaves

at times, but the tree knows it cannot

turn from the sun and live.

to give of myself

I must accept each part

of this self, be at peace

(shed only dead ones)

I must be rooted, centred

people may scorch me a times

with biting remarks, but I cannot

turn from people and live.

a tiny speck

makes the eye burn

redden, itch

blinding tears well up

a black particle

clouds my mind over

driving me to darkness


this black (w)hole

blinds mke from Seeing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rummaging between old papers, I found this poem that I wrote in 2006. I like it, so decided to put it up here...

Solids, opaque objects
Definite, visible
Dense, Impenetrable

Transparent as air am I
Know me in and out
Like sunlight knows the river water
easily knowable, easily penetrable

Alas! Irony! It is but few
Who have eyes to see transparence
Eyes and minds are trained to the obvious
Clear, transparent, penetrable am I
Only for eyes that can see nothingness...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Delhi ghazal

Maggi, bunta, chips, chai shops fill the nooks of Delhi
Muffins, sutta and friends-- all in my book of Delhi

Rock music and vodka lovers to art and lit lovers
India Gate to alleyways, myriad looks of Delhi

Sweltering heat brews here as does freezing cold
Food, theatre, gossip, tales, crimes cook up in Delhi

Monsoon breezes blow here, winds of change ripple
Earthquakes, bombs, political storms recently shook Delhi

Campus college hostel life is a life unto itself
It may have its negatives, but Shruti is hooked to Delhi.

( tried to keep the rhyme, refrain and metre as correct as I was able to!!)

They say mad men must be humoured

They say mad men must be humoured.

I humour myself
the way they humour mad men
I express myself
through day dreams and poems
to contain myself
to stop this crazee, lunatic spirit
trapped inside this woman's body
from acting wild
and running amok.

'tis a strange bundle of contraries
I express myself to contain myself
I humour myself
The way they humour mad men.
your words come back to me
your warmth steals over me
your eyes cast a spell
you leave me
naked, bare
and wistful.
with remnants of a distant past
and eyes bright with unshed tears
I nurse a solitary pain.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Blog!!

It's my blog's first birthday today... the first post was on 23rd may 2008 ...
Happy Birthday, blog!!
tisn't that long, many blogs have been around for much longer, but then, a first birthday does need to be celebrated! and going strong! I'm glad it's here... a blogging life is more interesting than an un-blogging life... can't imagine one anymore!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

untitled nature poem

Sweet-scented all around me lie
Pink-white snowflakes fallen from the sky
Softer than baby's breath
Fresh as the dawn
Your ethereal fragrance
Intoxicates like wine.

Of Love and Other Bruises

Smashed like a china vase
into tiny pieces
battered like malleable iron
rejected like a pen that does not write
a fallen bird, with a broken wing.

Even then, if a love refuses to die
is it a pure flame or is my life a lie?

If a mother beats and spurns her child
Where does the child walk away?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

An(other) way

Head bowed down
vermillion sindur
a pink and gold dress
I'd never wear, otherwise
jingling bangles on my arms
my husband wants me to have a child
my mother in law wants me too cook
my family wants me to uphold
the honour of "my family"
I desire to be free
to be just plain ole me
Through my pallu, I see
carefree girls, chattering gleefully
of all the things they dream to do
But I---
I must always be on the outside
I never knew an(other) way to be.

Butchering the Butcher

Bloody hands
cursed is my name
day after day, I slit
throats of goats
and little chicks
haunted by their eyes
haunted by their pain
where shall I go
to become a man again?
brute killing brute
condemned is my life
But I need food
for my wife to survive.

You sit on gleaming glass tables
under glimmering chandeliers
saying "i didn't kill them
it was the butcher"


I wove garlands
of fictions
fancies, fantasies
perfumed fragrances
that gave delight
keeping me happy
and cosy.
I did not want grim reality
its stark, naked truths
staring me in the face.
My garland is my bower
it's a lovely purple and green.

All the same, you have yours too
Only, maybe your garland is blue.

Railway Journey

A Thailand girl gave me thai food
A woman talked of pilgrimage
A bride with bangles sat before me
a didi gave me paranthas and laddoo
two children played and sometimes fought
a man on the top berth, lost in his book
A last rumble, a last screech
the train comes to a halt
I melt out of their lives
they out of mine
But the journey, like the river, goes on...

I meet people, I go places
I see a million different faces
some I like and some I don't
some I love and some I ignore
laughter, pleasure, hurt and pain
solitary loss and solitary gain
sweep across like hurricanes
I change my place, or you change yours
I melt out of your life
you out of mine
But the journey, like the river, goes on...

My Umbrella

'Twas a beautiful umbrella
a bright, warm red
covering me like a secure shell
in sun and rain and storm
I peeped out at the world
all snug and cosy in my umbrella.

Scorching sun, pelting rain and devastating storm
made my umbrella faded, tattered
it has holes in it now.

I stand, clutching my holey- umbrella
peeping out at the world
Today, I believe it to be
as snug, as cosy
as secure, as warm
and perhaps...
as beautiful, as bright, and as red.

Friday, February 27, 2009


a poem is the heart
of a purple flower
a poem is the mother
protecting her chicks
a poem is the first snowflake
that touches the ground.
A poem is also my soul.

Please don't judge it morally
with your whims and fancies
Please don't butcher it
with your should-nots
a poem is a sacrificial offering
a poem is a child
A poem is also my soul.

Putting a Stopper

When an obstruction blocks
the peacefully flowing river
it finds other channels
to surge ahead.

When steam
coming out through a fissure
is suppressed
it explodes violently.

When thundering waterfalls
encounter barriers
they rage, regardless.

That's what people nowadays
don't understand.
There are waterfalls of steaming desire
within me
But they think human laws
work differently
from natural, physical ones.


I am fluid
I take the shape
of whatever mould
you put me in.
I flow downwards
get pumped upwards.
you throw me,
splash me.
parts of me scatter.
what am I?
is there a me?
the part you splashed,
or the part that's here?

The Sound of Reverberating Silence

Between the ringing of the bell
and the opening of the door
Between reaching the platform
and the coming of the metro
Between lying in bed
and waiting for sleep
lies the silence.

In the depths of nights of darkness
In the heart of rock or stone
In the spaces of an old man's thoughts
lies the silence

Between what I feel
and what I say
Between what I say
and what you hear
Between what you do
and what I understand
lies the silence

In the centre of activity, civilisation
In the core of things
In the abyss of a mind
lies eternal, irredeemable silence

Some go to offices, some go to classes
some go to parties, some go to night clubs
some to book clubs, others to piano lessons
some apply hair dye as they see themselves grow old
some tell fortunes out of tea leaves
some smoke and drink chai and pass time
All are in a hurry, a flurry to escape
all know it intimately, all deny it vehemently
the eternal, irredeemable silence.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

From Mirage to Mirage

the sand glimmers with heat
the air glimmers with heat
the clear blue sky mocks the aridity
scavenging vultures circle overhead
the rotting carcass of a camel
in the distance.
they live off the camel, to survive
the hot sun sears, scorches
I step onto a sand dune
shifting sands slip under me
sucking me in,
I struggle to escape.
the desert is greedy, hungry
it wants. it desires. it takes.
I am thirsty. I want. I desire.
shading my eyes--- there it is!
palm trees, an oasis.
the dream of the oasis
my faith in the oasis
pulls me out of the shifting sands
propelling weak body, weary mind
towards that promise.

The blazing sun beats down
on glimmering parched sand
Nothing. Barren aridity.
It was a mirage.
Vultures mock me with rapacious
raucous cries
the sand shifts from beneath my feet
sucking me in, sucking, sucking
the blue sky laughs and jeers from above

no water in sight
no human soul in sight
only hot sun, shifting sands, vultures.

I look in the distance
I dream, I believe
in the promise of that baseless mirage
I have utmost faith
from mirage to mirage I live
my faith in a mirage quenches my thirst
torn by contradiction
broken by mockery
with certainty of uncertainty
my only rock of faith
a mirage.

From mirage to mirage I live
I've been doing it for years.

Friday, January 16, 2009


trying out haikus...

big, full golden moon
between two tall palm tree tops
inky purple sky

bare, slender branches
parakeets, thick as leaves
still, as though transfixed

these are just experiments... according to Vivek, you need to read the work of the old japanese masters first before you try to write haikus, and I've never read any... and now I'm fearing scathing remarks from vivek if he reads all these references on my blog!!

a ghazal

i wrote this ghazal very foolishly, without even knowing that it needs to have a rhyme... then when Vivek pointed that out, I managed to have some sort of a rhyme, and personally speaking, it turned out much better than I expected it to, when i was wrestling away with it. But what Vivek says is very true... that it's actually a repetition of "-ly" and not really a rhyme... well... I didn't know that when I wrote it, and now I'm stuck and have no idea what to do with it! Here goes! the idea is something that germinated in my mind a lon time back in october-november...

a sculptor carving skilfully in agra
my hand was cut off stealthily in agra

abused and worn out weaning fourteen babies
your love in a tomb, tenderly in agra

people from afar visit the world's wonder
amidst squalor unheedingly in agra

built by shah jahan for his beloved wife mumtaz
in history class they said proudly in agra

this white gleaming tomb erected in darkness
Shruti asks cruelly or lovingly i agra.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

poems shortlisted for TLM

OK... I have NEWS!! For the first time since I started this blog, I actually have NEWS.
which is just that I got the surprise of my life on the evening of 9th jan 2009, when a mail from Antara Dev Sen of "The Little Magazine" (otherwise known as TLM) saying that 3 of my poems ...( and I had sent them so many... that was a long time back in July 2008) have been accepted for publishing in subsequent issues. all their issues are themed, so the poem has to fit the theme. that's all. this is what makes me so super-elatedly excited these days when all else fails...
I'm pasting the 3 poems here below, although all of them are elsewhere on this blog as well, in earlier entries... here goes...
1. Trees

Gnarled, huge, knotted, tree trunks
Grand old banyans spreading, an ancient society
Guardians of the earth, these sentinels
stand watch, century after century
Witnessing .... Time
I bow my head, god is here
in these temples of our grandfathers.

2. You have grown
into me
you are part of me
your words are my words
your tones and gestures
my tones and gestures
the way you dress, is the way I dress
How do I separate
How do I escape from you now
without losing my self?

3. At night 
temporarily removed. sent elsewhere for publication.