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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

30 June, 2005

monsoon fever (haiku)

Fevered breath melts frozen ice.
Hallucinates love,
Till the rains wash away dreams

Raging heat rapes dry body.
I thirst, shiver, cry...
Wait for the first blessed drop


29 June, 2005


lips touching collarbone,
melts rest of skeleton.
weird science.


Where Giant Mushrooms Grow!

(Written after seeing a Discovery documentary about a field in Nevada, USA, where they test the latest weapons of mass destruction)

In Nevada there is a field where giant mushrooms grow
One mile high and two miles wide, they say on the show
That’s where they test how to vaporize people and flesh
By splitting and fusing atoms and start the world afresh.

A new era, a new definition, with the nuclear shield
Dawned with huge mushrooms grown on Nevada fields
Can erase whole cities, no need for guns or battle tanks
Tomorrow’s wars, the voice says, will be fought without ranks.

They are making bullets and missiles with lasers
That can picture the enemy, see in the dark, and subdue angers
Soldiers of the future don’t have to die for their country’s glory
They use their Global Positioning bullet, that’s another story.

Agree with me, don’t dissent, fall in line futile windmill tilters
Your wars are lost before you even see victory, dissenters
No more carpet and saturation bombing and damnation ally
They have no time to negotiate it’s you or them, you have to die.

They say their soldiers are smart weapons, they see in the dark
Their bullets can pierce armor; they can blast your flimsy mark
Where were you soldiers of the mind, intellectual, I mourn
When from your ceaseless toils such Frankensteins were born?

No more carpet and saturation bombing and damnation ally
They have no time to negotiate it’s you or them, you have to die.


Murder the Muse

of unrequited love and devotion
and would gleefully kick
a smiling infant into the ocean

I've no patience with tears nurtured on sorrow
Bah! I'm more worried about my lunch tomorrow

Similes, allegories, metaphors, allusions
meter, rhyme, theme - give me contusions...

What do I write, why do I write
where do I write and what is right?

What's worse is I can't
Apathy whines a constant cant
This is too mundane, that too trite
The one too dull, the other brassy-bright

I skunk around with a guilty face
Knowing I should write
But lacking the pace

"The pen is might"
That's a true thought
"Ho hum I may, I might"
Then again, I might not...

waiting till I can write again!


28 June, 2005

A Poet's Dilemma finally I am here. I mulled over as to what should be my first post here and I thought it is best to begin with a poem that shares its creation jointly with Peter. :-)

A Poet's Dilemma

Drunken metaphors
Cavorting to strange rhythms,
Hauling sackfuls
Of allegory and cliché
Pilfered from a Bedouin’s caravan,
Spice-laden, my words,
But their aroma
is lost to a critic's blocked nose.

© Dan Husain
March 30, 2005



your laughter,
spreads sunshine.
monsoons are very late this year.

your silence,
frustrates me.
like grey clouds without rain.

tears in the rain.
in the greater scheme of things,

the wind that helps a bud blossom,
dries my tears.
lesson in hope.

your laughter
turns rain into wine.
soaked now. what was i saying?


27 June, 2005


Void of throaty rasps,
looms like knife on edge,
over threaded chasms
of every nervous eye,
seeking refuge in agony
unknowing and hollow,
threatens existence of mind,
questions loudly ignored,
and yet peace, like a feather,
falling into empty space,
devoid of air, and yet such dances
light up, throwing the mind
into an infinite essence,
of what nothingness can bring.


Cities Change

cities change
and landscapes become
buildings turn into monsters,
and corners desolate

the streets
remain the same
hard beds for homeless, cold rivers
quietly winding downtown,

the taste
of the dust
or the smell of the
rain on gardens,
of lost friends.

wondering when the morning comes
restless words and trembling hands
will i ever eat again?

in dreams,
i find comfort
and peace in a cloud.

and lie down
every night
breathing deep.
taking in the city, the street.
so that
the seed may take root.

And dig deep.
to claim,
and belong.

Inspired by a verse by Andrew Doull.

27 june 2005


26 June, 2005

Looking At You

He pushed the door, and I stumbled in-
there you were huddled in an exhausted seat
your bones rubbery, your eyes watery.

Electric thoughts that crackle around you
seemed like soggy rags sans the stink-
your darting eyes had slowed down
like a sodden evening.

Spirits might have been talking in tongues
whenever you opened your mouth slightly
-saw you stop and blink your eyes
before struggling with the act,
the horrendous act of turning thoughts to words.

The merry-making and scene enacting went on
heedless, and when the others had slowed
you sped on like a wheeless skid downhill,

perhaps I glimpsed three of you-
how many more remain to be seen?

(c) Max Babi, June 2005.

Ahem, posting this here for expert comments.




Parched land
rents the air
A vacuous cry
berates the sky
A lone robin
As the last drop
falls prey
To a land
that reverberates;
To a death knell


25 June, 2005


you lean against the wall.
i lean on you.
then kissing topples us both.


new home

empty house.
friends help unpack.
already feels like home.


24 June, 2005

seashells of desire

a splotch of colour on the beach
desire comes to me like seashells -
i run and pick them up
digging with cold hands
in the sand. they dry in the air
glinting iridiscent. they
drip sand in my pockets,
and back home, i shelve them
beside the unfulfilled taj mahal
that never found a light for its marble soul

i wonder what currency it is
that makes me hoard desire.

some day when the sky is gray
i look over them. the patina
has blotted in dull wrinkles;
i wonder on what ridge
on what convoluted surface
lie hidden the many selves
of my yesterdays.

there's still a speck of sand
on it. still it grits on the skin.

when I am gone
the well-wishers will arrive
the moment of death laid bare
a meaning will be constructed
for a life half-lived. and then
one by one these trinkets
will be swept away, crushed underfoot

that which was never dust
will return to dust.


no room

wish i had the luxury
that salt has,
it melts completely
in the rain.

wish i had the privilege
that oaks have,
standing tall
before falling to the storm.

wish i had the vanity
the winds have,
they never return
when doors are barred.

wish i had the foolishness
of the deer,
it attempts to flee
certain death.

but after surrendering
to love, my love,
where is the room, any room,
for pride?


Baadal / Rain

jo kabhi kaale
kabhi safed lage
aasmaan par
idhar udharr bikhre hue

hawaa lage
kabhi garm
kabhi thandi
khele mere behke hue kurte sang

barasti hui barkhaa ki narm boondein
dharti ki sookhi sej par bikharti hain

khud ko mitaa de mitti ki aagosh me
jeevan ka rass phir bhi us me daal jaye

pairon talle chale mastaani nadiyaan
dhul jaayen basti ki adhuri galliyaan

jaanti hoon ye kuch hi palon ki hai khushi
phir bhi is ki ummeed pe chalti hai zindagi…

(by Juno)

That is Delhi Rains.

Now for some Mumbai Rains:

Some grey quilt,
moist with winds of Arabia,
pulled over,
a teasing conspiracy,
of a lover,
caressing her,
as he slowly

flow off into the ocean
washing discarded
thrown away after,
abusing it in the heat.
Skin clean now.
of dust and grit.

On one side
a simple warmth of
that cutting chai
and on the other side
a black plastic sheet,
around the family,
which holds fort under
a gnarled banyan tree.

Romantic rains
of yester years
And a sarcastic laugh
of today.

Rains have not changed.
I have.

Rain, rain again.
And wash away
All those leftovers.
Desires and dreams.

Until I once again
Crave for the sun,
you so ruthlessly


23 June, 2005


Too many times
I have stopped
Too many times
I have thought

Instead of

Saying what
That matters
Saying what
That counts

And now
At this moment
When I suddenly
Your presence
In my heart

Like the whiff of your perfume
Like the taste of your tongue
Like the curve of your smile

I know
For sure that
I love you


Those rides
On the bike
While the evening
Let off its last breath
I remember them

Those wet kisses
In the green room
While time lost
Its temper
I remember them

Those long looks
In dim diners
While love lurked
In our eyes
I remember them

Those warm hugs
On the rock
While the wind
Whispered our names
I remember them

Those silly fights
Over little words
While the days
Crept off the calendar
I remember them too

That last goodbye
On the road
When the sun shone
On our golden tears
I remember the most



The clouds here aren't lonely.
They caress hillsides, embrace trees, play with leaves.
They lounge on the roads, rising lazily to let a car pass
Settling down again even before the tyres go around the corner
They talk to the flowers, and play with the dogs
       And, I hear, in partnership with campfires,
       Disorient the birds in nearby Jatinga,
       So that tribesmen can club them out of the air

They laze, cradled like pet cats,
In the laps of high valleys.
Damp with promise, they leave traces of their passage
In the grass, and in the smell of the carpets.
The clouds wander here,
But it's only me that's lonely.


21 June, 2005

Grandfather's letter to my father!

I recently went through some old papers of my dad and discovered a letter written him by my grandfather. It was written with a fountain pen (one of those old ones that could write in cursive letters).

The letter began, 'My dear son,' and the rest was in Malayalam which I could hardly decipher. That I discovered it around 'Father's Day' makes all the difference to me.

I showed it to my son and he said, 'Great grandfather used to write letters to grandfather?' This was before cell phones were even imagined. Possibly the subject of my next story!

Raindrops or Teardrops

Have you ever kissed a raindrop?
A little one, a bulging one,
Just any one that fell from up there
And showered you
Celebrating life?

Have you ever kissed a teardrop?
A salty one, a bitter one,
Just any one that rolled down your cheek
And quenched you
Comforting hurt?

For today when
I beheld the morning,
My lips brushed both
Raindrop and teardrop,
And my heart betrayed itself
With the quandary
Of whose bride I would become.


16 June, 2005

Three Short Poems


Truth & reality
two sides of a coin
called perception



Afraid to wake up
into another dream,
from this nightmare



I must have grown up
Your soothing words,
don't hurt me anymore




11 June, 2005

Search in Vain

I roam the streets
and the nooks and crannies

I search in vain
for that elusive muse

that dare-devil spirit
that will defy me to be

to shed the veneer
i coat myself in

to bare those claws
i clothe in velvet

i hop onto transports
that swallow me whole

i peer into space without
a thought blotting my mindscape

is that a snot-nosed traveller?
does he deserve to live?

look at him preening away
at the married classifieds

the gelled-in hair follicles
keeping pace with his adam's apple

and the lovers cuddling,
coo-ing there in the corner

how dare they!!

here i wander
in the search of a muse

and there they stand,
defiant of all suffering,

immortal for that moment,
on a plane above existence.

Who will bell the cat?
who will burst their bubble?

return them to terra firma.
when did they get so elitist?

see me standing down here,
waving my arms frantically.

the magic carpet i booked
is long overdue.

i'm stewing in the heat
and it doesn't seem to abate.

where is my muse??
a salve to these miserable days

have you seen her?



Feels like home

Shadows play with the Sun on leaves,
warm smell of mud echoes in your senses,
clear skies, brushed with colourful wings,
heavy with freshness and humility,
own footsteps, loud in your ears,
silence; such virtues, lost; now found,
peace, in that pond, that ripples betraying a fish,
a gentle breeze caresses my warm skin,
as life goes by, wallowed in nature,
I strut within self, with gaiety,
that was lost, now regenerating,
ears tune to gurgling streams,
eyes filled with green waves,
mind filled with childish joy
of this place, that remains un-urbane,
and yet, feels like the place we belong.


10 June, 2005

I Exist

Yes, it's been awhile. :)

I exist like the air
that floods my lungs
that lifts my face
to the smile of my Father

I exist like the water
that pumps my heart
that warms my flesh
with the love of my Father

I exist like the earth
that colours my skin
that takes my life
to the arms of my Father

I exist like the world
that spins around
that wonders inside
how He made it, my Father


09 June, 2005


i dream,
of you.
like the devout,
bowing down,
the call of the lord,
is heard,
above life.

i live,
and suffer.
like the infidel,
not believing.

you forgive.
my follies.

you love me.

pray, endlessly.

and hope.

9 June 2005.


08 June, 2005

Beloved laughter

your laughter
is clear spring water.
When I hear it,
my love,
I drink up,
hoping to get drunk.

Keep laughing
And your blushes
continue to bloom.
May dusk
and dawn
meet where your hair
waltz across your nape.

Your intoxicating laughter.
dressed in yellow sunshine,
sways the flowers
into submission.
Lying on the lawn
like fallen leaves,
you have the seven shades of spring,
all rolled up within a part of you.

The rain,
the clouds,
they are all born from you.
Come wander
sometime with me
through the blue sky.
And if we meet a cloud,
we will rain back
on earth.

Your anklets tinkle:
and somewhere night falls,
somewhere the evening blooms.
Can i take refuge
in your tresses this night?

Some thought
meanders through your eyes,
and the world
sees it in your smile.
In exchange those,
take this earth
and take my sky.

If snow ever fell
in this city.
and enclosed
and your laughter rang out,
the breeze would bring forth wisps
of warm, bright smoke,

like dreams,
like words,
like poetry,
like me and you.

8 June 2005

(experimenting again, please comment)


06 June, 2005

Poetry Contest

From The British Council
British Council in collaboration with the Poetry Society (India) has been organising All India Poetry competitions since 1988 with the view to promote poetry in English by Indian writers and to discover promising new poets in this country.

Some of the winners of this prestigious competition have been Vijay Nambisan, Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Shampa Sinha, Anju Makhija, Tabish Khair, Rajlukshmee Debee Bhattacharya, Ranjit Hoskote, K Sri Lata and Shahnaz Habib.

Over the years the competition has been judged by well-known British and Indian poets and writers such as Alan Brownjohn, Anthony Thwaite, Lawrance Sail, Michael Hulse, Peter Forbes, Jo Shapcott, Stephen Knight, Vicki Fever, Paul Farley, Nissim Ezekiel, Shiv K Kumar, J P Das, Keshav Malik, H K Kaul, Sitakant Mahapatra, Sujatha Mathai, Imtiaz Dharkar, K. Satchitanandan, K N Daruwalla and Eunice de Souza.

The tenth All India Poetry Competition will be organised early next year. All the short listed entries will be published. The best entry will receive a sum of Rs 25000 and the second best Rs 5000.

The competition is open to all individuals who are 18 years and above. All entries must be in the English language. These can be original compositions or translated from Indian languages into English.

All entries should be sent to the All-India Poetry Competitition 2005, The Poetry Society (India), L-67A, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi 110017. The closing date for entries is 30 September 2005.

Entry forms are available at British Council office and the British Libraries. These can also be downloaded from or

For more details contact Dr H K Kaul, Secretary General, Poetry Society of India at

That snake on my back

My back aches,
last summers memories
have left their mark.
all along the spine,
and a snake lies coiled.

of lust and desire,
of soaked nights,
and a few dazed
carnal breaths.
Hiss and fangs.

Slowly the poison
crept to the head
mingled with the mind
and rose lyrical
from the lips
in words
hummed and dreams.

My back aches,
last summers memories
have left their mark.
all along the spine,
and a snake lies coiled.

Raised hood,
and flikering tongues,
beckoning to consume,
another soul,

That snake on my back.
Yet so much like me.

6 June 2005


03 June, 2005

I am now a tree

i am now a tree,
rooted to the ground;
flailing against the gusting wind;
the sea is rising
with each passing moment,
fomenting trouble;
unnerving me...
sea water cant help me,
i'm gasping, choking,

Help me mama!!!

the tide is receding,
the gulls are returning
the wind is changing
is that rain, mama?
wash me clean.

- pranay


02 June, 2005

a tree today

mama, today
let me be a tree
i'd spread my arms out
and stand in the middle of
the sea
perhaps then mama,
you'd call me
mangrove shetty



slide, sliver, slide

slide up the furrow,
created by my arching back,
slide up the shiver,
running up my spine,
slide through the falling rain,
like quicksilver in the river

roam, sliver, roam

roam about the neural networks
roam among the arterial highways
roam and trample the cortical mess,
that once resembled my brain

smirk, sliver, smirk

smirk at my ineptitude
smirk at the feeble gasps
smirk for the last time

fly, sliver, fly

fly for the end is upon you
fly to the ends of the shell you dwell in
find the nearest path
flee your fate awaiting you

now, sliver, now

pierce his eyes,
blinding him, bleeding him
show him the truth
bring him to his knees
and peace shall be yours.


Pranay Srinivasan
(Copyright June 2005)


01 June, 2005

pia's white dress

every morning mama washes
pia's white dress clean;
then she wears it to the sea.
the sands colour it golden,
on a cloudy day, the sea makes it grey
and just when she is leaving for home
the coconut palms fringe it green.

every morning mama washes
pia's white dress clean;
then she wears it to the sea.
the corals colour it pink, sometimes fawn,
often blue
and the jelly fish leaves purple lights on it too.
The sandy crabs leave little claw marks.
and the yellow and black fish
frill the edge with their little stripes.

this morning when mama went to wash
pia's white dress clean;
it took her a little longer than usual
she had to wash off the bird song,
and the roar of the waves.
the sound of the wind and the sound of the rain.
then the butterflies had left myriad hues.

every morning mama washes
pia's white dress clean;
then she wears it to the sea.