Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Forever Emerald: Confession

When he saw her after her moving performance,
He was too spellbound by the very sight of her,
She looked so beautiful in her turquoise dress,
And earrings that moved with her every move.

She asked him whether he had liked the song,
He answered by saying that it was quite soulful,
Then gathered courage and asked her firmly,
"Will you marry me? Will you be my soulmate?"

He narrated how she occupied his thoughts daily,
That there was no moment of peace in his mind,
He wanted to make her his wife as fast as possible,
For which she shook her head shyly and smiled.

A wedding raga played from the nearby temple
They looked at each other in surprise and bowed.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Eternal love

Your love was a treasure I should have held close,
Without a word uttered to anyone about what we'd,
Without a soul to know the magic that we shared;
Yet what I did was to sing from the rooftops.

Time went by ruthlessly turning all love into dust,
Shrouding this love with absence and forgetfulness,
Causing much heartache and jealousy for this heart
Who cannot bear to lose you to another any day.

The piece of earth in me loves the rain of memories,
The way the love light in your eyes could bring life,
With the positive energy that only you could bring,
Rare fantasies, hardly said aloud or acknowledged.

However, this love has its days of life and death
What makes it special is its stubborn refusal to die.


Wasted by anguish
she would be lying on her bed of loneliness
drawing herself together on one side, 
seeming like the last sliver
of the waning moon on the eastern horizon. 
By my side her nights flew by
On winged moments in rapture's fullness; 
now they drag on, heavy with burning tears.
( Meghtadutam, Kalidasa)

May be it was the shape of his beloved's favourite beast
Bent down to butt a riverbed that inspired him to poesy.
May be it was the memory of his lover's sandalwood body
Or the grief of separation from her that made him sing so. 

Whatever the reason might have been for him to compose,
He thought of her long hair without adornments or flowers
Drawn together in a single sweep in the long absent months,
He sang this musical erotic message promising rejuvenation.

He thought of her beauty that made him err in his daily duties,
The early hours of the morning when he spent hours with her, 
Which he didn't want to forsake and plucked the holy lotuses,
Which he did before time just to get punished for one long year. 

When the rainclouds burst on her, he wants her to see his love
All written in the eight months of longing, just to be with her!

Pic Courtesy: Blog at wordpress

Monday, August 19, 2019


You are my want, my need, my desire, my everything,
My one addiction that I never want to give up ever,
May be time- the years, the months and the days-
Might bring about a change in this feeling for you.

But I want you to know that after all these years,
I want yours to be the shoulder where I return to
With the broken scattered pieces to be held close,
And put together with a few words of consolation.

I want yours to be the eyes that hold my bold gaze,
To give in without holding anything back from me;
I want yours to be lips that greet me in surprise
To give ecstasy when most desired without saying so.

While you and I enjoy our days of mutual togetherness,
I want your love to be the kind that stays around forever.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Alohari Anandam

“Remember the Frenchman who asked his grandmother at what age we get free from the temptations of love. The old woman said she didn't know” The Doctor’s Dilemma, GB Shaw.
Sarah Joseph’s Alohari Anandam ( Per Capita Happiness) explores the winds of change that perplexes and confuses a Syrian Christian family in Kerala. Published in 2013, the novel deals with controversial themes such as loveless marriages, marriage of senior citizens and lesbianism. Joseph’s characters liberate themselves once the yoke that they carry become too much for them. 

Emma and John Mathai are the senior citizens who decide to get married with the support of the young generation and Paul. The typical reaction to a couple who decides to get married so late- a widower and a spinster- are jokes laden with obscene humour. However, Joseph treats the theme with much sensitivity and her Emma is a lovely bride who rejects all makeup and finery on her wedding day that her niece Ishana has designed for her. 

Ishana is the designer in the family who runs a funeral parlour and a beauty parlour. Joseph satirises the way in which all church rituals have become focused on clothes, jewellery and the aesthetics involved. On the occasion of a baptism, Ishana’s thoughts are entirely on the stone-vessel that she chose for pouring the water. She represents the new generation who sees marriage as a trap set to limit individual freedom. 

The lovers in the novel Paul and Anu carry the burdens of their marriages. Paul is married to Teresa, a lesbian who is forced to marry him. Anu struggles to bear the weight of her loveless marriage with Cherian. When the idealistic Paul meets the dreamer Anu, they feel a strange comfort and are drawn towards the lovelight that they see in each other’s eyes. As Paul says:

“There are people who become happy with the little that they have...both among men and women. Not just that, the majority is like that. They try to unravel the knots of this world. Small achievements make them happy. Small losses hurt them a lot. Their longings for love are of a shallow nature. But there are people who seek themselves in their mates. They need a life of deep love. For them, marriage is a failure, if the lover doesn’t complement their mind, body, intellect and emotions. It is not necessary to have such a relationship within marriage and that’s when you seek another relationship” (Free Translation). 

Joseph's novel Alohari Anandam, celebrates the joy of living and individualism. Through her beautiful and lyrical evocation of the Song of Songs, she recreates love as a Garden of Eden shared by those who want to experience the happiness of being fully alive, emotionally, spiritually and physically. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Akshay Kumar's Padman

How do you speak openly about menstruation? We would resort to euphemisms such as "those days" or "monthlies" or "stomach pain" or many other in our mother tongues. Often, women respond with a crinkle on their faces, "We all have it; so what's the big deal". 

We get horrified when we hear of children using saw dust or dirty rags but are unable to take any real steps. Many schools across India have started distributing free sanitary napkins as many of the girl students stay at home during their periods.There are several celebrities and organizations that have joined this cause for the girl children. 

The much awaited film Padman produced by Twinkle Khanna based on her own short story "The Sanitary Man from a Sacred Land" starring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in the lead roles. It is directed by R. Balki and is based on the life of Padma Shri Arunchalam Muruganantham who is a social worker who has worked hard to remove the taboos associated with menstruation. 

Known as the Menstrual Man of India, Arunachalam had to face much trauma when he went ahead with his project of finding the perfect low-cost absorbent material for a pad for the sake of his wife. However, his project led him into inventing a low-cost sanitary pad making machine. In this video, he talks about how he started being concerned with this issue of menstrual hygiene.

Saturday, May 18, 2019


Every time I put henna on my hands I hum that song
Where I write your name on the palm of my hand,
Hidden in the intricate shapes, curves and designs
The story of the day we met or the day we spoke.

We have walked countless times around the fire
We have uttered so many different sacred chants
Of holding a bond so close just by keeping it safe
Deeply tied to the sense of our sacred silences.

We have celebrated in rhymes, absences felt,
The emotions that run wild and the colours
We have sang of the endless days we wandered
Listlessly, aimlessly and perfectly in silence.

Yet when I put mehndi on these hands of mine,
You smell them, as if it’s our first time together.

Friday, May 17, 2019


For a heart like this full of love for wandering in the serenest places on earth, each and every picture of natural beauty is an invite. The cascading waterfalls that astonish, the beautiful mountain-tops, the endless beaches and patches of green everywhere.

May be on a day like this, looking at this beautiful earth, I may not write a word but only sigh and think; for what to write about a work of art that is more beautiful than any word can describe. Yet I sit at home and dream of visiting all these wonderlands after looking at their pictures.

It might happen that one fine day, I will be able to wander as long as I please and as far as I please. But right now, the travels occur in dreams that carry me to these imagined places of delight.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Ibis Trilogy

The Ibis Trilogy written by Amitav Ghosh consists of the novels Sea of Poppies (2008), River of Smoke (2011) and Flood of Fire (2015). Constructed on an epic scale, this trilogy shows the interconnected lives of people across India, China and Mauritius, all united by the factor that they were colonies of the British empire. The fates of these people are connected to the trade of opium, which was produced in India as a commercial crop much to the ruin of the Indian economy and extensively sold in China causing addiction among the Chinese population.

The first book of the trilogy,  Sea of Poppies begins with the life of Deeti or Kabutri-ki-ma, whose husband works in an opium factory and is addicted to opium. When her husband dies and she is tormented by her husband’s brother (who happens to be Kabutri’s father), she runs away with Kalua, a man from a lower caste. To escape from persecution, they join a group of people who are transported to Mauritius as girmitiyas on the ship Ibis. The other people whose lives become interlinked during the journey are  Zachary Reid, Miss Paulette Lambert, Jodu, Ah Fatt and Neel. The first book criticises the British introduction of opium as a compulsory crop in the place of food crops ruining the Indian farmers. 

The second book River of Smoke describes the girmitayas’ life on the island of Mauritius and their adventures. The British and the Indian traders earn fortunes by bringing opium to China until the Chinese government takes steps to prevent the large-scale influx of opium. The government takes preventive steps against opium addiction and they seize and burn the imported opium. The traders become discontented at this and have to flee for their lives. Neel and Ah Fatt escapes from the ship Ibis along with a few lascars. Mr. Bahram, the Parsi trader who happens to be Ah Fatt’s father appoints him as his munshi. This book is set mostly in Canton against the background of the First Opium War and shows how the Chinese cannot live without opium. 

The third book Flood of Fire spans across British India, China and Mauritius, where Deeti and her descendants have established themselves as settlers in the plantation. In the midst of the First Opium War,a  ship Hind sails from India to China with Zachary Reid in search of Paulette and with Shireen Modi who wants to get back her dead husband’s wealth. However, Zachary Reid forgets Pauline and has an affair with Mrs. Burnham, who becomes a likeable character as opposed to the first book where she creates all kinds of problems for Pauline. This book depicts Zachary’s initiation into the ways of the world. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

The unknown

Varshaa: Rain Melodies

In one of his stories, the celebrated Malayalam writer T. Padmanabhan writes of a man who loves to listen to the sounds of rain so much that he takes a cassette of rain-sounds with him abroad. When he feels homesick, he listens to the sounds of rain- the sudden outburst, the pitter patter of rain on the roof, on the ground and to the sounds of occasional thunderbolts. The rain has always held a fascination for artists and is a constantly celebrated theme in Indian literature and films. 

The theme of the rain is explored by the artists Jason J.Nair and Aby in Varshaa: Rain Melodies, a collection of five rain melodies that inspire both creativity and nostalgia. Though it bursts on you unawares and creates plenty of inconvenience, the rain serves as a muse or a source of inspiration for many writers and artistes. The rain pitter-pattering outside, the sound of thunderbolts flashes of thunder across the sky, the wait for the rains symbolised by the dance of the peacocks or the memories of getting drenched unexpectedly, there are so many threads that come together on listening to these rain melodies.

Summer Tedium

In the midst of this summer tedium, one longs for the rain;
In the orchards, water drizzles are made to battle the heat,
The ripeness of guava fruit permeate the evening air
While heaps of watermelons call your sole attention.

The songs that you play on your guitar in summer time,
The melodies that captivate the audience under a spell,
While you try to figure me out, to fix me somewhere
Within the matrices of your growing understanding.

One sole glance from your sprightly eyes full of laughter
One smile that could restore the energy lost this season
The longing that fills your heart in the summer nights
To be with the one you love and to be his companion.

Part illusion, part dream but this growing understanding
Of an affection brings back life in this summer tedium.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Hero worship

How would I put into words what I remember about you after all these years?
When I want to write about you, I see the chinks that I have found in your armour.

Yet the you of my imagination and the real you have grown so apart that I guess I would never recognise you if I saw you somewhere in real.
But this heart has loved you in ways that the one who owns you can never even imagine!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Under the banyan tree

Under the tender banyan tree
Who loves to sit with me,
And sing his soulful songs,
Watch the tender leaves flicker-
Come here, come here, come here!
Here we shall live
With no worries
All through this summer.

Our dreams soar sky high
Forever in the sunshine
Happy where we are
Happy with what we have
Come here, come here, come here!
Here we shall love
With no fears
All through this summer.

Forever Emerald: Confession

When he saw her after her moving performance, He was too spellbound by the very sight of her, She looked so beautiful in her turq...