Garden view

The bougainvillea tried to compensate

For its tiny flowers, sedate and white,

It made of its leaflets a frothing fountain

Crimsoning my walls in the summer sun;

Trying its hardest to attract

Insects with its colored bracts.

But the butterfly couldn’t be fooled, he knew

Which flowers were richest in honey-dew!

My garden was the stage for his choreographed flight,

As his wings patterned the air with colored light–

Making of his day’s work a dance of delight

And I was left, lazily wondering–

Whether the soft shimmer of the butterfly’s wing

Was superior to the bougainvillea’s gaudy flowering!





When I started to talk as a young baby,

I used to refer to myself as “she”.

The third person usage comes so naturally

Even now to the many young ones I see!

Who is the primal first person, an observer apart,

Who slowly sinks into one’s brain and heart?

Who grows so into the flesh and skin,

Starting to think – this is my body that I’m now in.

Which growth hormone generates the thought–

That out of this body, I don’t exist:  I’m nought!

I limit myself so much to my body, my brain,

I have to make a great effort to connect again

With others of my kind, who may have different views

To overcome the “I” factor, to deliberately choose

To get to the highest state of humankind–

A gestalt entity- a network of all “our” minds!



Man screams and rages, plunders, preys

On others, and sets himself a frenetic pace.

A tortoise just ambles on, in his carapace,

Savouring the quiet life with grace

Thouh he evolved earlier, he shows no trace

Of trying to overrun the earth, colonise space;

I think it may be his long range plan

To wait out the brief flash in the pan,

That is the life of modern man,

Then he can show his true worth,

Inherit, inhabit, make sustainable the earth;

So , for now, he retreats into the  haven of his shell

While man tries his best to raise all kinds of hell!



I -manage I- magine

When I face the unknown, I must admit,

My imagination rears up and champs at its bit!

With the worst-case scenario it gallops away,

In the dark, it conjures cowled figures in grey!

Before a math test, I see a blanked-out brain,

Asleep, I jerk , as I fall into an abyss again!

In the company of the erudite scholar, well read,

My imagination is reined-in, its curiosity fed,

And the unnamed fears are killed , quite dead.

But the Universe is a wonderland, unmapped and vast

Seeing which, my mind gathers speed, whizzes past

The safety of the known, to the thrills of the dark night

In deciphering which lies humanity’s strength, it’s might!

Did our imagination color our world , give it form and shape ?

Or did it culture us, human beings, from the primordial ape?



I would , if I could, emulate the mule-

I think it would be really cool

To put my ears back, kick my heels higher,

To not bend my back to another’s desire.

Nobody can mistake a mulish NO for a “Maybe”

Or a weak , vacillating, “OK, I’ll see,”

Which is what I often say, for I find it unnerving

To say a firm No to the undeserving!



The fledgling

I clutched my nest in frozen fear,

The day was bright, and very near

Seemed those great eagles in soaring flight

As they rode the thermals up to the heights.

I didn’t trust my untried wings, if they couldn’t unfold-

I’d be hurled down, crushed,– and  tighter grew my hold!

“Don’t fear, let go,” A deep Voice said–

It spoke to my heart, not my head.

“Stretch your wings, breathe deeply and try

To embrace the wind, be a part of the sky!”

Something in me thrilled to those words,

And I found myself flying ! A bird among birds!

I wondered who had helped me become me-

From my self imposed prison, had set me free.

“They call me Death,” said the Voice, “Who are by Life confined,

“Yet it was I who freed your soul, unshackled your mind!”

“My name is Siva the Destroyer, in fear’s dark season,

“And they call me  Brahma the Creator, at the dawn of reason!”






Monday morning on my window sill

There sat a crow looking deathly ill,

Bedraggled, dirty-grey and weak,

With drooping wing and half a beak.

I paused, pitied him , but I was in a hurry,

So I just put out the leftover rice and curry.

Tuesday, I served him an idli-sambar mix,

When I left for tennis practice at six.

By Wednesday his wing had just a slight droop,

Anyway, I gave him some bread and soup.

By Thursday, he’d finally started to fly,

But still came and pecked up a roti gone dry.

I thought, “That’s it, Crow, I’ll say goodbye”,

So on Friday morning, it was a surprise

To hear him cawing as I boiled the rice!

Weekend mornings I used to snooze or rest,

Before this saga of my uninvited guest.

At six every morning , his half-beak taps,

On my window, and he loudly caws and flaps.

Now I’ve an extra mouth to feed,

Not out of pity for his need,

Just exasperated at his greed.

I’m no different, always praying for  things,

When my God has given me hands to work with,

And lent my imagination wings!