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What the Sun cannot see….

Poems of an Amateur Poet

He made lot of money

– no one know how much,

when some company acquired his
and he retired from work at age of 32
 
He bought house in Jayanagar near a park
and every evening
plays cricket with the boys of that locality
 
He never displayed his wealth,
did not become part of any great cause,
he did not invest in any new company
nor did he visit any ashram
He did not go on an exotic holidays
and remained a bachelor 
 
He just seemed to relax at his house, 
go out for an occasional movie,
watch sports on TV and
play cricket in the evening
 
Many wondered, “What use leading
such a life. A life without purpose,
life without kids to carry forth your name,
just eating, sleeping and playing.
Why can’t he make himself useful
to the society?”
 
No one knows if those words reached his ears
but every evening at 5:30pm 
if it is was not raining
he comes out to play cricket
without fail

You laugh at me my friend

But I am not deaf my friend
I have deliberately shut off my hearing 
so that I can hear better through
my eyes
 
Now words speak to me
with greater clarity
 
You always hear the sound of the word my friend
I hear their silence as well
 
You laugh at me
 
Not for me the words that 
inefficient actors spout my friend
 
The words from the page rise up and 
Kamban speaks to me directly
 
You will never hear Rama’s soothing tone
nor Jamabavan’s growl
and Manthara’s high pitch plea to Kaikeyi 
will never reach your ears
nor will you hear the rumbling of the earth
when Ravana thunders in anger
 
You laugh at me
 
But I read music my friend
 
You will never experience the perfect counterpoints
of Bach as they come to my ears straight from the page
Nor will Mohanam sound with such purity
You have to contend with the imperfections, my friend, 
of human endeavor while I hear the composer’s mind 
 
You laugh at me my friend
 
You can only hear the present my friend
I hear the past as well
In these pages I hear the voice of rishis
chanting the Vedas
I hear Adam pleading with Eve to give up the Apple
I hear the proud voice of Porus as he speaks 
to Alexander
I hear Socrates and Plato
I hear the sad voice of Ashoka after the Kalinga war
I hear the voice of Martin Luther, 
the voice of Hitler mingles with that of Mussolini
and Stalin
I hear the roar of tanks in Sahara desert led by Rommel
I hear Churchill’s rousing speeches
Gandhi’s calm voice
What can you hear my friend?
You, who eschew words.
 
You laugh at me
 
But the words of the past tell me my friend
about the words of the future
I know what your charismatic leader would say
I know what tales the politicians will spin
I know what you will speak to your children after you grow old
 
You laugh at me
 
Yes my friend I am that book lover
who wants to only hear what the books say
I smell the words, I relish their taste
I digest words and chew them 
I live for these words my friend
and they keep me company always
demanding nothing from me
They give me everything my friend
and in return I try and give back some words
but you do not love words my friend
 
You laugh at me temporarily my friend
but I carry a permanent smile
for words are always with me

Though she had never spoken to him
he could not forget the way she smiled
when she saw
him riding the bicycle for the first time

When she was going away to Nanded
– where is Nanded?
– Somewhere in Maharastra
he went to the railway station and saw

her sitting next to the window
in the train but she didn’t see him

He could not forget the smile

He went to Nanded a few days later
roamed the streets
stood in the hot sun in front of
some women’s colleges
had lunch in a small hotel
-the dal was undercooked
and came back

After so many years he still remembers
the smile she gave him when he rode
the bicycle
and also the fact that the dal was undercooked

“Don’t play the cut shot”
we told Bujji
whenever he played that shot
he ended up gliding the ball

into the hands of first slip
“It is a big score and
we don’t want to lose
you early”

“I will play only in front
of the wicket” he promised
but the third ball he faced
he played the cut shot and got
caught at first slip

We are one down already

 

I enter
your premises

dream mingled
cigarette smoke

tobacco tinged
smell of
tea

old waiter treating
everyone
with equal disdain

unknown person
sharing problems
with a complete stranger

as well as a cup of tea

display
housing
sweet relics
peculiar
to the tea shop

the din inside
soundproofing
the shop
against
the snarl
of external traffic

ever present group
at the same table,
dreaming dreams
that go nowhere

relief
on the face
of the man
sipping tea
from the saucer

to some
the Irani tea shop
is a brief invigorating
stop

to some others
the great escape

what is it
that brings me
here?

(Inspired by this picture of my friend Surya)

… but God
visibly whispered
….

Krishna
had rushed to greet him
inquired about his family,
recounted tales from their childhood
fed him till he could eat no more

and

had eaten
the rice flakes
that Sudama had carried

– A poor gift
from a working man

But to Krishna
it did not matter

Returning home
Sudama
had
an
uneasy feeling

As his weary legs
got closer home
he saw
his crumbling house,
his wife walking around
in her usual tattered clothes
and
his many children
shouting and fighting incessantly

everything was the same

washing his legs
Sundama thought about
the next day
and the struggles
it would
bring along

Silently,
Sudama
thanked Krishna

Written after seeing this image of my dear friend Surya !!

After devouring
immense knowledge
the mature Ananconda
sleeps

“She died last year.
Seems she had some health problem”,
he said,
“She never married”

I thought you had
died in me
long time back

Did I too
die in you
completely?

Now,
I will never know

– Long wait
for a short glimpse

– Preplanned
‘accidental’ meeting

– Infinite joy
upon a tiny smile

Long forgotten images
teach me
the eternal truth

One who has touched you
Never dies

About to leave for the office
with a cup of coffee in my hand
I stand on my balcony
surveying the tree tops

The flame of the jungle,
the resplendent marigolds,
and the violet flowers which cling
to that bare tree
as bees bunched together
in their honeycomb

All hide the chaos

Beneath me
the city growls
relentlessly
spewing hot smoke

Within a few minutes
I too will be lost
inside the belly
of this giant

I turn around suddenly
hearing an urgent ring tone
where there is none

the city
is
inside me