the last sin
  pale ashen sky
a bleary eye
clouds of recurring screams...
i am a zoo
  an octopus leviathan
tentacles into an ocean
of unformed emotions...
syphilis and love  
  syphilitic pall
stifles the clear blue
i contort...
shell and pearl
  amidst highs and lows
in life's ocean flows
a shell peony-mouthed...
i am an unmarried mother
  fed on stings
of barbed milk morality
my child-plankton...
the lovers
  cell upon cell
bridge of their union
hung on the pillars...
  ogre of age
and time cavil
at a warm picture...
the young today
  innocence thaws
at the altar
of ambition...

revisiting college

the old residence of Mukarji East is gone
instead rises a four storey elliptical
structure of colonnades and big cement blocks
rooms with large glass windows
and corridors with ornate balustrades
now block cricket would be more fun
the junior common room has disappeared
a neo modern building with pointed ears
sits pretty he hears the guitar strum
riders on the storm
notes from weird scenes inside the goldmine
waft in air to meet the brooding presence
of the astrophysics observatory still there
oh those star trek days in the JCR
there’s a buzz in the corridors
are the old gyps around?
he reminisces how during monsoons
he would sit in his window at S-11
and read Neruda and Ginsberg
as the trees look scrubbed
and wore a fresh coat of green

while he is in his thoughts internalising
the changed façade of his alma mater
he notices in the rear-view
mirror of his consciousness
a girl coming up to him
does he know her? he is not too sure
a gentle face small lips and long hair
she was definitely not in the class of 1984
a demure hello and a conversation ensues
and then she tells him her tale of woe
woe why woe? he doesn’t know
but it sure had an aura of sadness
he can’t really recollect what she said
but he pictures she took his hand in hers
and they walked towards the chapel
he regrets he should have been more
to the chapel during his college days
then just perambulating at its periphery
an after-dinner walk ritual
as they stroll her hair brush past his face
she comes closer and her breast rubs
his chest unobtrusively the age of innocence
this is how he remembers that long and lonely walk
an unknown girl in a light blue embroidered kurti
and just the sway of eucalyptus
down the bend in the college road

(10 April 2005)