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Personal notes

Territory of one

Four square metres is plenty to unroll a bed
of sad news, hidden away at its seams
to sleep with a blanket of melancholia
singing softly in our dreams

A loss in isolation is lost in translation
No vocabulary to cope, no tears to quell
these emotions of drought and deprivation
they leave our tongues and minds barren

unable to taste the grief, smell the salt
we bundle up our beds and wipe the floor
with the dampness of debilitating distress
and soak up the remorse

The light from the window clears away sediments
of rage and guilt, poking holes in the garbs of silence we wore
This time around, no hands are party to ताली or थाली
It’s time we gained immunity from flamboyant futility


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Personal notes

Aid through Art

Donate through a print 🌼

Hope you and your family are all doing okay. These are not good times and I hope you’ve found ways to be mindful of your mental, emotional as well as physical health. We believe art has a way of bringing smiles, warmth and colour to life, especially at a time of collective distress, when we each have been affected one way or another.

As support to our frontline workers and on ground-community, a group of us have decided to sell prints from a series of artworks we’ve made since the Covid lockdown last year. All the proceeds from this sale will go directly to the organizations working towards Covid-relief in India.

Please find more details on how to donate and purchase the art here : https://aidthroughart2021.wixsite.com/my-site

Sending you all love and colour 🙂
Take care and stay safe!

Categories
Personal notes

Birding in Bombay

Perched on the fringes of my existence
their feathers, a tapestry of their day
adorn my window sill

Wings spread, the gossamer fabric
a map of the places I’ll never see
but whose stories continue

to tear at the sweet spots in my slumber,
the lake is asleep
while I am awake

watching the still water
my reflection as weightless
as the stars above

Like snow on a summer evening,
the egrets land softly on the lone tree
dressing the leaves in flappy white

quiet as the clouds, they disappear into the night
a shadow play against the sky
untethered by the moon light.

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Personal notes

Caramelize

Editorial illustration 2020

Memories are like onions,
they reveal themselves slowly
you peel the layers away,
run water over them to clear the muck
then, you begin to see that shade of pink.
You prepare yourself for the tears,
hope it doesn’t hit you this time
and get distracted by how you’re going to cut it;
dice, slice or chop?
And then when those details have you down,
the tears come, so swift you’re shocked
Despite it all you smile at yourself
how they shrink on being cooked;
maybe they were better raw after all.

Categories
Personal notes

On retaining

The drizzle cut through the dense virulent air of grief and disbelief. The taxi pulled over to the side to make way for an ambulance on the narrow road. I looked away to say a silent prayer. The excavator was slowly rolling up the road as I rolled down my windows, globes of rain breaking against my raised ears and clenched jaws. The road paved way to a new apartment complex, taller and more expansive than its neighbours, with amenities that compared the complex to a city, so the hoarding outside gloated ; it had it’s own hospital. That was new. The murky waters of the river below reflected an immaculate environment, or at least the promise of one.

Fifteen feet of concrete, jutting out against the river; to protect, prevent, and prohibit. Brown barely belongs in bourgeois building brochures, boundaries do. Grey is the new brown and green and blue and everything in between. Grey is the mind.

The rain accelerated the river’s drift and moved it along under the bridge and out of my vision. The city’s mission, accomplished. The sirens of the ambulance died down, the car began to move begrudgingly.

How we delude ourselves, displacing anger and retaining anguish. I rolled up the windows as the drizzle turned into a downpour. An act of release that I wanted to emulate.

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Writing

Road rage

Sorry for the inconvenience

A deep red plastered against a white board.
A laceration, on the road
again

The smell of asphalt is still in the air,
the stygian stain of last week’s patch up job
yet to assimilate

A placebo – it will seem better
but it will not cure the festering
indifference

The roads are trying to speak
the pits and holes are a language
I am learning to read

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Personal notes

Dichotomy

I
It took –
one dead rat, a tree full of cawing birds,
roaring ambulances at 3 AM, kids playing at 5 PM;

aazaans at 6, mata ki aartis at 8,
dense air and light conversations
to find my home.

II
Here, the floor is swept clean of stagnating routine,
the fan scatters the distant voices from another home,
and the windows drip emotions the curtains can’t curtail;

radiowaves eat away at the books, leaving behind words to chew on
shadows paint the walls in dark long strokes,
plugging all of the cracks left behind by it’s previous occupant.

Categories
Writing

City couplets


My feet are playing catchup with my senses,
Upar neeche, aage peeche

Sounds draw me in,
sights and smells, I drown in

Creasing my clothes
caressing my soul

Bombay to me is a cup of coffee,
I order it for the decadent sip
ignore the bitter after-taste
and wait for the caffeine jolt

Categories
Writing

Dear Architect #2

It took three years
it also took infinite livelihoods, families and a community
to rest an inflated ego

the light no longer touches the air before a breath

it’s easy to see through the foundations of greed and ignorance
even multistoreys of indifference will crumble no matter how much you reinforce them
the tears of the inhabitants will rust away the steel

leaving bare sighs and exhalations

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Personal notes

Midnight meanderings

Woodcut on paper | Jan 2020

The velvet sky anoints another star
for every choked conscience
My nights are starry again

Hold me in place while I reach
into the crevices of my heart and
untangle the world around me

The dust motes float weightless
swaying with my every word
lit by the fire in the air

My whispers are now shrunken
by inhalations and exclamations
We are what we breathe