I have never surfed. I don't think I have even touched a surf-board. But, when South Coast Writers Centre, NSW came up with the In The Shade contest, I had to do something!

The Grommet

The beach is lined.
A kaleidoscope of surfboards
Stand guard. Straight and tall.
Sentinels under the Sun.

Like long black insects,
A line-up of surfers
Lie in wait, their legs
Dangling in the water.

Streams from the Sun,
Dance on the ocean.
Making it sparkle, and
Throw up gold dust.

A late surfer,
Runs down the beach.
Her surfboard in hand,
Silhouetted in the light.

Slowly, but surely
It begins.
Mountains of water,
Rise and fall.

And the chase is on!
Arms paddle like windmills.
And. You are enveloped.
In a tunnel of blue.

Like flowing glass, the water
Washes over you. Streams through you.
Your eyes feel the sting, and your tongue,
The graininess of the salt.

The restless wave,
Shatters onto the beach.
Into a trillion crystal pieces
And a clap of thunder.

And again, you try.
To become one. With
That piece of glass,
That flows and roars.

Paddling, carving,
Gliding, effortlessly it seems.
But the wave,
Does not like the intrusion.

You are pulled out.
Like a cork
From a champagne bottle.
There is foam.

And again.
Paddle, Carve, Pump
Balance. Glide.
Till you fly.

With unimaginable strength, the wave
Foams and spits like a racehorse.
While you, the small jockey hangs on.
For dear life, enjoying the ride.
The best part? I won!


When it rained - I

Calcutta used to be a city full of wide rooms, painted
a dull yellow. The windows, two on each wall
Each, with two green shutters. And a balcony, No!
A verandah. Looking out, or in. Didn’t matter.

The verandah had beautiful grille railings.
Innumerable curls and swirls ending
in straight lines.

When you stood on the verandah
Right by the grille railing and looked up,
a small sliver of a grey-blue sky would
peek out, winking between the rooftops.

The early afternoon would turn into late evening,
and the birds, confused
would roost on the neem tree nearby.

Cool, moisture-laden wind would blow,
making your eyes close
and your lips smile.
Because you knew that the rains were coming.

Somebody would shout “Its going to rain.
Bring down the clothes.” And, as if on cue,
the first drops would fall, sprinkling your nose.

Laughing, you would rush
To yank all the sarees from the clothesline
And they would gather in your arms, swishing and flapping
Throwing colour everywhere.

To be continued...


I wrote this while sitting in my car, travelling to a far-off, but near-enough archaeological dig. Not that I don't like cars; just not for more than 3 hours :D

I wish I were on a train.
Sitting on the right lower berth, 
my knees locked 
tight in my arms
looking out the window.

Feeling the strength of the train 
as it pushes itself off.
Sliding on the plastic bench, 
about to fall.

Only the pressure 
of my feet stop 
My graceful fall.

 And I spy the country 
spread out, like a virtual map.

For me.

What is your choice of travel vehicle?


Believe it or not, I wrote this while sitting in front of a college exam-paper, and the grade counted in the eventual degree that I have received, thank you very much. And no, this was not towards the end. This was me procrastinating, at the very beginning.  


A fiery afternoon
melted the classroom
She entered with shy eyes
a vision in pure white.

Her brown mousy hair
was oiled back in a pigtail.
The Sun’s fiery dancers
bounced off, casting lancers.

Her round earrings
sang merrily, of
golden sandy dunes,
embellished with fiery tunes.

All of a sudden,
there was a rustle.
And, my eyes fell on
the flame of her attire.

The dupatta! It was made of Fire.
My eyes drank, till they could
no more. And I lowered them to
the boring sheet, once more.

What did (or do) you do during your exams? 


I love Tom and Jerry. They made Sunday mornings better, which is a humongous feat! 

This is my Ode to Tom.

To Tom,

Pussy cat, pussycat

You poor thing!

When will you realize,

That the mouse

Always wins?

Whether it be 

the living room,

or the ocean blue.

Anywhere and

everywhere, he always

does you in.

Still, you persist
with unrelenting force.
Dogs and fowls
entrailing, with a dash
of human howls.

My dear pussycat, 
please be a little smart,
and get yourself
another house cat.

Which cartoons would you drop everything for and glue yourself to the telly with a bowl of cereal? 


The Tea Party – II

Little Ganesh was hungry, again.
Mummy Parvati said “No more!”
But the aroma from the kitchen
made his little tummy implore.

An idea struck! A tea party.
Then mummy would have to relent.
Now, whom to invite and who not to  
He thought, as his trunk tapped his forehead.

Big Brother Kartikeya, barged his way in.
Bringing his cronies to muddle this shindig.
The benevolent Rama! Apple of Kekeyi’s eyes.
Got the other three along to avoid a lie.

Krishna wouldn’t budge without his Radha,
Who came along trailing her ghaghgra.
Making matters worse, daddy returned early
Loudly announcing, that he was hungry!

Mummy smiled, and brought the goodies out.
And Ganesh carefully counted the gulabjamuns
Lakshman made a beeline for the icecream.
While everybody else sat down.

The party was in full swing, and
they were clapping at Bharat’s mime.
When Radha spilled lemon tea,
All over the sky!

I wanted to begin with my ode to the Gods and especially Lord Ganesh. 
It was early evening and the sky had draped itself with a lovely lemon yellow hue, and I thought maybe one of the Gods had spilled their evening tea.
Look up the Bibliography Page for explanations and meanings of some...well most of the terms and names here.  


  1. Read this poem for the first time when you wrote it a couple of years back and still think it is one of the best poems you have written, even better than The Skylark one you wrote for me when we were little. Humorous, witty and all in all fun. I don't think anyone has ever interpreted the Indian Gods the way you did.
    Love it.