Of Monsoon, Mumbai and Love

Part 1

The word monsoon comes from the Arabic word mawsim

When the Arab sailors would come looking for riches in our lands

The winds of the east would change directions holding them back

Forcing their ships to wait – pining for Ihla Da Boa Vida (the Island of Good Life)

The Dutch would do the same after four months around Africa

Chasing stolen maps, they’d reach these shores only to find “moesson”

The trade winds of the east making them wait

For these clouds to change their hues

The British would time their deaths to it

Claim no one survives two monsoons in this godforsaken island

Yet they stayed – for death in Bom Bahiya – the Good Bay

Meant they were war heroes – in their battle for a British India

***

Do you ever think about me – your poet?

Everytime you look at the monsoon slashing at your windows

Do you stare at puddles in potholes

Imagining a different reflection of me with each ripple

I’m a lot like this island, you know

I’m not a part of the whole

I show my love the same way

By longing for you oceans away

You’ve tried reclaiming me from under the sea of solitude

Many times at your own expense

Yet you fail to claim me

I am and will forever be submerged in my silence

So – you wait out my monsoons

And descend with your ships of thoughts

When the clouds in my mind have cleared

You bask in the glory of sunshine

While my thoughts like stones drown me in my procrastination

Your love is a silver lining

And my love – the cloud

While you sigh at the smile on my lips

I just want to rain my words on your joy parade

Part 2

The brave they landed

The Parsis, the Jews, the Iranis – the Runaways

The British they were just a rubber stamp

This was and is an island of rejects

I often wonder how does the city not burst into flames

When every one in it is a firecracker?

Instead its lights from the sky,

Quietly guide our souls home every night

***

I like this, city keep my flames inside

Quietly burning from the inside out

While you – are always on fire

Forever warming my cold feet

You celebrate my empty rooms

Win my silence like a trophy

And I keep my longing for you packed in boxes

We will love like this forever I suppose

How to Write a Love Poem

Step 1: Find your rhymes

They’re usually hidden

In the curves of a woman on the dance floor

Only she’s not on a dance floor

She’s head banging at a show to your favourite rock band

But let’s face it

In your head she’s dancing in slow motion to Ed Sheeran

Her hair is making music in the air ripe with the sweat of a thousand metal heads

And all you can hear is the symphony

Echoing across the hall every time her head rises and falls

Step 2: Stare at her

Not in a creepy I’d-like-to-see-you-naked kind of way

But like your life depended on it

Like you are desperate to catch the words coming out of her mouth

Even if those words are shouts of “zombie! Zombie!”

Like you want to hold those words in your hands

And whisper back into your clenched fists

Like you’d whisper sweet nothings into her ear

Look carefully for contours on her face

They are lines that are slowly turning into a poem

And then look away

And find out how ugly the world looks without her in the frame

Step 3: Wait for the words to come to you

Don’t walk over just yet

She isn’t ready to hear the words that make her essence

She still thinks it’s the concert rocking the world

Instead write a poem in your head

About the light beaming out of her into space

The launch pad of your inter-galactic adventure!

And smile as you imagine her slowly turning into the very words you’ve written

Sailing away into the mosh pit

Step 4: Don’t be afraid

Don’t fear rejection

Because by now she is already your poem

She is an unrelenting muse

The Galatea to your Pygmalion

The Helen of your Troy

In your mind She has already won you the Trojan War

She is the Wonder Woman, your Amazonian Goddess

And you the damsel in distress

Step 5: Walk over

No, Drift.

Drift towards her like you are the wave

And the crowd – an ocean

A relentless force pulling you to her shores

Listen to the music raining on you like a cloud burst

And flow, just flow till the beats take you to her

And when the music stops for a second

And all you hear is the pounding of your heart

Turn to her as you turn the page in your mind

And start a new poem with

Hi!

Video performed at a recent poetry slam

Pieces

There is a peace in this room

Tonight

A silence broken only by pieces of our lives

Exhaled

A piece of you and a piece of me

Intertwined

By the dimming twinkles of the fairy string lights

If you squint

They would look like fireflies

There is a peace in this room

Darkness

That saves itself in shadows behind packed

Boxes

Our hands don’t touch

Each other

They aren’t supposed to after decades

Together

Our life has written all it can on our faces

There is a peace in this room

Tonight

These walls are looking new to me

Each day

Your face is slowly fading further into the fog

Everyday

But here is what I know in the depths of my heart

Your pieces

Have stayed in this rusty mind of mine

There is a peace in this room

Tonight

Fact: every time you exhale

You die

Your soul waits for a moment

For takers

Then crawls right back into your skin

Into life

There is a peace in this room

Tonight

Because my soul is slowly holding on

To yours

And every time I exhale it takes longer

To come back

As if deciding, whether

It’s worth it

Ah! But I forget the piece in this room

Tonight

The only piece of you my mind doesn’t

Let go

You see when souls are together

For this long

It doesn’t matter which piece goes to

The reaper

There is a peace in this room

Tonight

My life has been lived and your death’s

Dying

With creeping breath I now know what will

come to pass

Your soul will preserve mine inside your deliciously

Ancient skin

 

Tiny Notes

In my weird daily cosmos

There exist tiny pieces of yellow

One that thanks me for memories

Others that say I love you

 

Before you leave this room

Past the sea of unread notes

I wonder if they breathe at night

Sigh and smile like lovely ghosts

 

I read one and gaze ahead

The second I tape to my wall

Another lies etched in my dream

That’s the one that rules them all

 

It reads of promises

Of undying faith.

Whispers in the breeze

and takes my breath away…

image

Up in Flames

This heart lies cold
at the edge
of a mortal soul
i wish for playful games
for eyes that burst you
up in flames

I haven’t seen the world just yet
to give up hope
on pretty words and unsafe bets
wish for an endless throe of pain
for words that burn my soul
up in flames

At length a story comes by
that brings a smile
to the unhurt eye
it sparks the wilderness for the tamed
bursts this virgin heart
up in flames

It takes you on a ride
of a lifetime
and wins over the most practical minds
at length you realize
you were winning a losing game
but by then
you are already up in flames

Miss Sunflower Blue

I don’t think about you
I’m sunflower blue
I dream of a voice
an evening breeze
whispering in my ears
singing me to sleep
I don’t think about you
I’m sunflower blue
You don’t haunt me
in my hazy memories
you don’t follow sunset 
in a midnight’s dream
I don’t think about you
I’m sunflower blue
You aren’t etched deep
in the depths of my soul
I don’t get lost without you
and wonder where to go
I don’t think about you
I’m sunflower blue