Wednesday, October 31, 2007

pencil stub-----3WW


a certain memory captures the moment.
with fine strokes, she sketches in with a pencil stub.
graphite can be erased unlike embedded thoughts.
circling around where there is no end and no beginning.
windy weather does nothing.
not even make her shiver.
words within her mind are stumbling over each other
falling like a pool of debris.

she watches the soil beneath her bare feet,
clutching a tiny unknown weed between her toes.

phone rings. she barely moves.

‘no one knows her here’

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

fascinatingly spooked-----Writers Island

foaming water gives rise to steam
ripples disappear into nothing

shadows form out of nowhere
walking creepily towards shore

revolting fascination takes over
watching unheard of creatures

unholy sounds pierce the calm
strange shapes emerge, dancing

on cascading stream, eeriness
enhances those unheard of fears

sounds of night hold to enthral
until dawn breaks, sunlight falls.


My thoughts are haunted for no particular reason. May be it is the season. I am unable to write the way I want to. This is another of my half hearted effort this past fortnight. Please do feel free to critique it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

desiccated pleasure-----Monday Poetry

that vague instant
when I hunch into myself with my mug lowered,
fragile yet too severe to crumple;
with an intense stillness,
sipping thick brown
swirling substance,
much too murky to penetrate
with anything other than taste-
desiccated, and rolling over at once
over tongue. unexpectedly
aware to hazily hopeless uncertainty;
intractable and arrogant-
my smile comes across.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In Sickness-----Sunday Scribblings

When I read this week's prompt Hospital for Sunday Scribblings, I kind of went numb. I almost did not want to write for it.

The first time I was in any hospital was the day I was born. The most important day of my life and I do not remember anything about it. I might have gone back there for various shots. I still do not recollect.

I think I was around three years old when my dad was admitted into a hospital when he went into a coma after bleeding internally due to a peptic ulcer. My brothers were 10, 9 and 2 years at that time. With all four kids under 10, my mom having no support system, most of the time all of us were in the hospital huddling together. I remember my older two brothers putting up brave fronts and stoically taking care of my younger brother and me while my mom had to run around for the doctors etc. I can still smell the disinfectant, which I hated at that time. I did not understand that my dad was serious. I do not recall my mom breaking down. She had no time to think. However, my dad recovered fully and that was the end of it.

After 28 years in 1999, his ulcer erupted yet again and he was back in hospital. My brothers rallied around with me. The doctors were not very optimistic about him. Somehow, we did not lose hope. Moreover, this time we took care of him taking turns to watch over dad. Mom, as usual was a pillar of strength. My dad did get well and was back home.

In May 2002, my dad fell down and fractured his hipbone. He did undergo a surgery for that. When he came out of the anaesthesia, he was in a good mood. For two days, he joked around and looked forward to get back home. Suddenly something went wrong, and he was in a coma. Three days after that, he was gone forever.

I have been in and out of hospitals in between and afterwards too for various reasons. I do not have much recollection about those dates and years. Hospital reminds me of only these three instances involving my dad.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

lording over----Totally Optional Prompts

This week's prompt is from Kooser's book 'Delights and Shadows', published by Copper Canyon Press.


In its stall stands the 19th century,
its hide a hot shudder of satin,
head stony and wilful,
an eye brown as a river and watchful:
a sentry a long way ahead
of a hard, dirty army of hooves.

Though I began with great ideas, somehow I lost interest half way through it. Still I posted it.

lording over

on that pedestal, you stand proudly with a fixed stare,
sun reflects your ebony structure wit abandoned glare.

past glories are gone, it is time to consider; reflect upon
what would have happened, if battles had not been won.

combat was the way of life, winning the ultimate prize.
success was measured by seized monies and land size.

it has all come to and end. glorious days have forever
ended. forgotten, hooves held high up, you try to sever

ties with your bygone days. a bit of regret creeps into
the stony heart, chilling it to frost, anaesthetizing unto

nothing. fountains of dust break open the now frozen
thoughts. slowly emerging gleeful feelings are chosen

over sad ones. glimmering scabbard glows even more
sentry duty is taken into stride, heart is no longer sore.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

trapezoid of rigid austere--3WW


when the calm signals an imminent blister,
gravity is inverted; celestial care is set into
motion of exploded vision.

transition is noshed by winds trailing
the acme of pier feeling the order
of unexpected clotted cluster.

mundane weekend matters mean nothing
in the trapezoid of rigid austere. clouds
quarantine vestiges of man,

balling it up into meteors of universal
empathy. quagmires are formed where
extraterrestrials weep with

syncopated whinge, praying to the winds
of pendulum not to blow away the poise
man has learnt to know as qualm.

Monday, October 22, 2007

taking over-----Writers Island

This time we are to let our imaginations run with the strangers.

walking through the jungle,
the elephant was tired
with a long sigh,
he plopped on the ground
smashing a pumpkin.

orange/yellow muck resembled
massive elephant droppings.
turtle chuckled when lion
stepped over it, wrinkling its nose-
ran to the nearest stream to wash.

crocodile hated the smelly water
fishes sniggered soundlessly,
frogs jumped gleefully upstream,
unaware of the cacophony
elephant fell asleep shortly

dreaming of the landings, it had
come across, while journeying
that massive moving thing
which did not have a head
for that matter, not even a tail.

little did he know, man had
conquered jungles, taking
over the domain hitherto
belonging to the wilderness.
lion was no longer king

elephant did not have the
courage to tell the animals
of all that he saw, letting them
live in their paradise
of ignorance for a little while

bickering over petty things
loving/hating each others
undoing, blissfully oblivious
of the great evil known as
human beings taking over

pachyderm turns over
willing himself to shut out
the horror, lets sleep take over
the terrifying images away-
maybe he had a nightmare.

‘soon to be strangers in their own land’

Sunday, October 21, 2007

the curtains---Monday Poetry Train

white curtains bellow from an open window
akin to a scene from a slow movie,

the villain has the hero cornered
who manages to escape out a window,
when the bad guy kicks the door
the drapes move wildly

the low streams of Brahms' cello
along with the wind whistling noisily
calms the atmosphere down to a reverie
while the veil ripples gently.

Join in for a ride in the Monday Poetry Train...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

After becoming a queen----Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings

My first act as Queen of the World will be...

Most of the times I feel sleep deprived. After reading this prompt, my first thought was- make one hour sleep mandatory even in day time, after every three hours. That will help all of us rejuvenated.

Another of my pet peeves is misspelling of names. Those who are the culprits should be severely punished. They should be made to write the names they misspell 5000 times a day for 10 days.

I would recommend a chocolate factory in every town. Entry for kids to be free twice a day with free bars and once a day for adults with a nominal charge for a bar. I finished re-reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and hence the brain wave.

All of us should celebrate balloon days each week of the year along with kite flying in summers. Stopping by the woods to admire the nature, to be made compulsory.

I must not forget books. There should a library in every district. Kids and adults have to be encouraged to read. What a blissful thought!

Being a queen is not easy. I am unable to think further. With the burden of the crown, you see…

I know these are scatter-brained thoughts but suppose it happened….

Friday, October 19, 2007

rolled into a corner---[Fiction] Friday

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for October, 19 2007:

What happens when a character, while cleaning out a house before moving out, finds a roll of film?

fanciful furniture packed with much care

clothes all scattered pile up on the stairs
on slightest of whim, their tempers flair.

things lie haphazard, she stacks the books
not attending to him, feeling dirty looks
on her back. full boxes pushed into nooks,

she goes back, checking drawers finding
a roll. seeing it he gets up fast, snatching
from her hand. he doesn’t answer, asking

goes vain. with absolute air of detachment
he refuses her pleas. her jerking movements
cause him as much hurt. in that apartment

they are now adversaries. all forgotten they
watch each other. her eyes will him to stay
at once place. he understands, doesn’t sway,

knowing he cannot allow her to see film roll
photo of their dead child would tear at her soul.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

alpha and omega----3WW /Totally Optional prompts


Totally Optionally Prompts has the following poem as its prompt, a translated work from a Chinese one.

On Hearing a Lute-Player

Your seven strings are like the voice
Of a cold wind in the pines,
Singing old beloved songs

Which no one cares for any more.

I have incorporated both in the following. It is but a rough draft and may appear disjointed at first glance.

alpha and omega

connected wires field in the storm
howling winds almost rip at ears drums
day hides into startling night of doom

enhancing the unknown apprehension
lightning strikes with such suddenness
taking me by surprise. complacent gone

I listen to the old love songs being sung
by gusts of wind to the swaying pines.
envious of those, assailed by melancholy

I kick out at the table stubbing my toes.
howling like the wind, I hobble around
giving a loud voice to choicest of curses.

my eyes fall on a doll long forgotten
discarded now. turbulent weather is
perfect to revisit childhood memories.

ragged doll, a silent bystander to all
alpha and omega of my early years
offers comfort for a second, only so..

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

waxed eloquence----Writers Island

This time the prompt is to write about Message In a Bottle.

blue tinted veined tapered bottle
floating aimlessly up and down
finds direction when waves crash

i watch it with anticipation willing
it to reach towards me. swirling
it plays hide and seek like a child.

tired it comes and rests on sand-
turning over, sated with journey
origination of which is unknown.

i let it be, but only for a short while;
bending down on my knees, picking
it up with care, i examine squinting

to look into its interior, visibility of
which is almost zero. waxed cork
comes off easily enough. rolling

to ground, parchment falls at my feet.
eagerly i pick it up, opening it with
care, my eyes scan it taking in little

details. perplexed for a split second
comprehension dawns. blankness of
that missive brings forth with force-

messages with no words stay forever
hanging in air confined to a minute
space spread universally, soundlessly.

no words can replace profoundness
of calm least of all message in a bottle


Click for more messages in a bottle...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

weeds of war---Cafe Writing & Monday Poetry Train

listen to the world gone shallow
spirit is hunted as well haunted

dreams that soared are now sour
weeds take over reason tenuously

clamouring to get a hold, thriving
in the aftermath. thorns of combat

pierce all but the one who started it
closing his eyes, he refuses to budge.

“war goes on, it has from time immemorial”


Wrote this short piece for Cafe Writing October Project Option five where one has to choose at least 3 words from the following and include those in an essay, story or poetry:

dream, weed, spirit, listen, crisp, shallow, tenuous, mischievous

Posting this for Monday Poetry Train too...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Career, anyone?----Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings wants us to recall about our first jobs, worst jobs, dream jobs..

Soon after I completed my studies, I have been into teaching. I finished my post graduation in chemistry and got a teaching degree, which resulted in a teaching post.

My first job was in a school nearby which mainly consisted of students from Iran. Way back in 1990, just before the onset of gulf war, many Iranians had arrived in Delhi and were trying to assimilate into the Indian set up. That particular school had majority of Iranian students as compared to Indians. I do not recall having any problem with that other than the fact that those 15-year-olds were much taller than me and tried to flirt with me. In a way, it was a good experience for me. Trying to teach Chemistry and Mathematics to students who were not much interested in studying.

After a few months of teaching in that school, I got posted into a school run by the Government. That was a huge shock. In such a setup, students come from the so-called lower strata and are mostly first-generation learners. Infrastructure is nothing much to speak of. The classrooms are falling apart, no electricity, no water and sometimes, there are very few toilets. There is a dearth of blackboards too, what to talk of chalks. I have been teaching in government schools for 16 years now but the scenario has not changed much. These factors are huge challenges for any teacher and of course students too. The negative factors do not discourage the students. They are very enthusiastic to learn. That is one major incentive. For all our efforts we get their love and affection unreservedly. I would call that reward enough. I like to interact with my girls, helping them as much as I can. A few belong to such families where they are abused by their own fathers. We deal with that too...

I do like what I am doing. Teaching under-privileged girls is satisfying enough if we are able to make even a little difference in their lives. It is always a pleasure to meet any of them who after leaving school, do well in life. However, I sometimes wish to be a librarian of all things! That’s because I love reading, I love the smell of books. Once I considered that but my love for teaching out weighed that!

Back to square one!

Check out more on jobs here!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

What sentimental endings?----[Fiction] Friday

Here’s this week’s challenge:
[Fiction] Friday Challenge for October 12 2007:

Use this quote as the spark for anything you want.

“I’m not one for sentimental endings. Not this time.”

What I am going to write here is not fiction. This post is on my love for book, for reading. How does it fit in Friday fiction? It does not but the quote does albeit indirectly.

Every first week of Jan, April, July and October are taken as Buy A Friend A Book. In this week, one is supposed to buy books for friends for no reason. I do buy books for my friends and family. I too buy books for myself. That is not same as getting books as gifts though.

For the past two weeks, I am having a lucky streak winning six books from various draws on the net world, from all over the world. I cannot explain the thrill of winning books….a few of which are unheard of. The anticipation of holding the book like the first touch of a lover without knowing anything about it is not easy to explain. One has to go through the process. Maybe I am going overboard saying it!

Can anyone be sentimental about books? Well, I am. I am not ashamed of saying it either.

Now for the list of books I won:

1) American Gods by Neil Gaiman from Dewey
2) The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult from Steve and Shaz
3) Nineteen Minutes Jodi Picoult from Steve and Shaz
4) Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult from Literary Feline
5) Town House by Tish Cohen from Jane
Downsizing Your Home with Style by Lauri Ward from Collins Nonfiction

I have only received American Gods till date. Others will follow soon enough.
Despite my not giving in to stupid sentimental feelings, don’t you think the above books are reason enough for me to dance? The books which are from people I have not met, are a great spark for such feelings.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

internalised----3WW and Totally Optional Prompts!

, Knock, Weather

For totally optional prompts, I offer this as I think it goes with the prompt well. I interpret it this way!

taking the photographs out
appraising those with wonder.
initial euphoria receding like hairline
I sort through, throwing a few
with a knock onto memory.

ever changing weather mirrors
but absorbs too, darkest turns to light.
pictures come and go, enjoyed yet
ignored. ones that camera never captured.
internal experiments of the soul.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

leafy tale----Writers Island

This time the prompt is to write about renewal.

I have stayed too long up here
swaying softly in sweet scented zephyr.
sensing the movement of sap
in my lucid veins
my alteration to crimson, ginger and russet,
the vibrant emerald of my youth waning.

I enjoyed the freedom of sway,
suppleness for a time,
the buzzing of bees,
the smell of my blossom cousins,
wonder of fruit laden trees
bent double with the bounty.

however, one has to move on.
sap has frozen in my veins
thoughts of softly drifting down
and touching the earth below me -
only seen till date but never felt -
brings peace to my mind.

letting loose my grip
I slowly make myself glide to lie
silently with my older sisters,
feeling the tender prod of worms
I toss back into earth, dreaming again
of budding blossoms in the spring.

Get yourself renewed here...

Monday, October 08, 2007

night nods--unpoem---Monday Poetry Train

black vines intertwine
in countryside.
myriads of flower
bloom on muddy soil.
pitch dark, the night nods.

itching mosquito bite
enhances a yawn-
as wide as darkness,
reflecting ennui.

"moths still dance"

For more poetry, click here...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sorry----Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribbling is a great blogging community. It is more a family where we post each week to a prompt. When I checked in for this Sunday, there was this post saying...sorry…no scribble this week! Shocking to say the least! A Sunday without scribbling? How is that possible?

I again went there wanting to go around those people who had commented and found that sorry has been made into a prompt. That pleased me no end and from the comments there, most of the bloggers too!

Now what does one write about sorry? It is such an abused word. So much used that it has lost its meaning altogether. We say sorry for no apparent reason, meaninglessly. We do a wrong, we say sorry. Someone else that a wrong, we feel sorry. Sorry does have a whole gamut running through it. We do not give it much thought before saying it. Lip service, as it can be called.

We need to ponder over it. What does it mean? When we say it, do we mean it? Should we say it even when we know it is not our fault? Sometimes we say it for others. To cover for them. Do we need to do that?

Sorry should never be taken lightly, neither by the person who says it nor the person who receives it. It has to come from the heart. It has to touch the heart. Only then sorry can really mean something other than a mere empty word…

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fallen angels!-----[Fiction] Friday

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for October, 5 2007:
Use the first line of a nursery rhyme (your choice) to start your own story.

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water

born on the same day
inseparable since birth
both always had a say

about what went on in
the other’s life. toddler
days were not to be seen

for sometime now, even
childhood was left behind
adolescent feelings driven

to core. hormones bubbled
jumping forth. unfamiliar it
was too. step that stumbled

was no surprise. climbing hill
was but only an excuse. dread
after the deed added to thrill

to escape from parent's fury
they fell and faked self-injury!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

skip it!--------3WW

All you poetry lovers do read my review of A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver!

You can safely skip this poem or read it at your peril. Writer's block is not conducive for good poetry. What the hell even Keats wrote trash at times!!


feather rhymes with leather
thinking of writing a poem
i am at the end of my tether

my judgment seem misplaced
trying to collect the words
i got those even more displaced

itching fingers type in trash
writer’s block makes me useless
maybe I should start afresh

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

chain of being---Writers Island

asks us to write about "The Journey"

ubiquitous pip of that apple
shaken to the core
righted itself

tiny in size
ever so gifted
it knew what was expected of it

voyage from earth to fruition
had been arduous
so very tiring

no way it had
deterred him from
his pre-ordained chain of being

it awaited yet again for its turn
to be germinated into
excursion of life

holing into soil
half woken up dreams
culminated into a tree of stature


Look out for more creativity here...

Monday, October 01, 2007

severence---Monday Poetry Train

i am exiting
in maladroit motion
as i did
so many months ago.

i speculate
what have you done
where have you gone
stretching the hours

for miles, for dreams
beyond my reach.
we ought to have
known this, you and i.

you did not envisage
how parting would fill
my imagination to the
point of collapse.

i stopped dreaming in shade
or in image and sound.
yet i see deeply, further
enough into this distance

to connect skewed view
to string stars
toward each direction
i have ever known. i walk alone..


Read more poetry.....