A Broken Token to Murakami (Inspired by “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”)

Sometimes it is so cold

there is no Heming-way you can be saved.

A cup of tea and make-believe

come to the rescue please.

Oh, may the magic in realism

Contest your realities; spell for you that, that couldn’t be so cold-

If only you did not feel so old.

Then into a dream, you are cajoled.

Did the wind-up bird wind the spring of the world, yet, Murakami?

Because I may die to several shuddering thoughts in a bit.

Dear Mr. Okada, let us sit-

and talk of so many births and so many deaths.
Along the road, the “obstruction of the flow.”

It sure doesn’t feel right,

The never stopping ceiling fan, perhaps, misunderstands your plight.

Try as you might.

(“Even I know that much, Mr. Wind-Up Bird. How come you don’t get it?”)

The summer found you finding yourself in a pit-y.

This winter, you will again miss the light.
Such simple rhymes.

Who am I trying to be?

Someone far from a poet, you’d hiss.

Maybe your warmth is what I need.

Ah, some tea, a hug or even your piss

Warm and so showering…
No, don’t walk away.

This isn’t meant for the walking away kind.

This isn’t meant for any other kind.

It is made because it’s cold.

And in a dream I want to be cajoled…

Sing this part like it were a melody

A shiny, polished version of some noise- a sound

Or think away this little something like a spring of a bird, unwound…

And fly along.


In two. 

I write for you these lines 

from a place too close to your heart.

From a space that occupies you throughout –

the day, and sometimes in the night.

The naked ink that goes on to write

these words, is me. Is you. Is I. 
Every word formulated and cancelled,

Reformulated and remembered 

is but a selfish deed. 

Long. And lasting. Ever- burning, 

Except where I am. Or, where you are. In the midst of a word. Becoming a letter. An alphabet, so kind.

We meet each other halfway, making up a word. Conjoined like these lines…

Up and down- curly, for a curly while. 


Are you curled up on your bed? Perhaps, coiling (and recoiling) at this, with your flinching eyes and slanting brows,

As the oddity of my yellow-blue in you rises. And settles down

Now, this punctuated sentence grows…

Making of itself, an anomaly 

Ah, what remains is genuinely silly. 

A Timeless afternoon with Agha Shahid Ali.

​I dare you this afternoon, Time

To turn away from yourself for a little while 

And hang around in my presence

As I swallow and gulp the treat of Agha Shahid Ali’s poetry.
With nobody around, my favourite things keep me company

I bet you will find the simple pages printed with memories of Beghum Akhtar, riveting to your Being’s content.
You will see, Time, that even you have something to lose. 

That to pass by and by and go farther and farther would leave you alone and with nothing. 

You, too, will experience jealousy when I read aloud every verse, every line. When I get to details of his life. And how he liked his Mutton Rogan Josh. 
In my room, there is a festivity in this silence,

a joy in my own company. 

Kashmir is shrinking in Agha Shahid Ali’s mailbox now. 

Wouldn’t you want to read the next line? 
I invite you-

leave all else and come. 

See with me, read with me. 

He has images and tastes to offer. Tales of Delhi filled with his emptiness. 
He wants you to pay attention; He loved to be surrounded by attention. 
I cannot let this afternoon slip away 

Oh Time, this time, defy your own rules.

Mind the mindless minds?

​Of iceberg and love

Once upon a morosely wilting evening, a neuropsychologist, Ms. Maya Tyagi fell in love with Mr. Roop Asthir, a patient of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Only the violin that moderated their lips, could attest to it. Only true madness is what it takes to sing those thoroughly innocent songs. And that evening, their brains fed on insanity to sate their heart. 

When at the cusp of life. 

…Tilak knew about the rest. He knew that there had been problems and he knew there always will be. The game was about how one choses to either ignore those problems or enjoy them. 

The key rule here is to never ‘handle’ the problems. Never manage to skip or handle it. You have to enjoy it or not see it.

He knew that whatever he had suffered would always be better than whatever he will have to suffer. That implies, Tilak will either spend his life loathing and in misery or he will move on. Keep moving on. 

The best part about moving on is that it requires taking a risk of not crying, not complaining, not even regretting but keeping all these spontaneous overflow of emotions on hold. 

That is a risk, you bet. It is a dangerous repression of a potential explosion. However, the solid truth of Life and Death, makes this venture worthwhile. You know, for sure, if you make it or not, you end up just like the others. 
But how do we know if Tilak made it? How would Tilak speculate if he ever could make it? You see, he did not actually know what that meant. 

All he knew was that he was accountable for the next step forward.

Life is like a teaser of your favourite movie. It talks to you, looks you in the eye, mocks you, sometimes befriends you, even pities you but does not give you the antidote for…for what? Yourself? The only way to find out its story is to live through it. 

Doesn’t that sound terrific? And funny and scary too, at times? Mostly that sounds like magic. ‘Random lottery’magic. ‘Random lottery gone bankrupt’magic. Unexpected ups and down, such games that you’re in for, without asking for it. 

So now? 

*Tilak takes a step forward*


Tea for what?

​’Liquid tea available here’
Tea, for Dadi is milky but without the cream

Dadi’s son, however, relishes the aftertaste of cardamom.

Dadi’s better half, would deride the drink to be the Englishman’s concept. Tea, for him, was a coloniser.

Dadi calls it, his hypocrisy. Well, that of a Brahmin.


Dadi’s grand daughter likes chocolate tea, lemon tea (hot/iced), tea with milk.

And cream.

Her grandson is genius by patriarchy and gives his views on tea.

“Satisfaction”, he announced, ” for someone who saunters, who wanders, tea, is satisfaction.”

And so, for all those who know tea by chai

and in its absence, cannot peacefully lie, hold still to know what the granddaughter replies.

“Tapri waali chai or stalls of tea, is collateral to our family’s redundancy.

Now look at Dadi’s tea



B O I L S….me.

Her early morning Sanskrit mantras and scripts,

her warm, spicy, ready to serve gossips layered within the pristine ideas of goodness,

                        of sugar,

that prods my sentiments, replays prejudices, shows to me, a miscellany of my bright dupattas that I drape to filter my beauty,

to cover my blemishes.

And Ma? She is dear Dadi’s tea leaf.

Her favourite one, though-

Fit for serving the sugarly spelled chai pakode on her first night of a December wedding.

How she DROOPS herself in the tea, wilted.

By the heat, unsated.

Like the adaptive nature of tea leaves

with their esteem scattered.

Just happy they were picked.

Their fragrance, pervasive. (till, of course, the tea is finished)

Their companion, milk……

The creamy emotions are still marched against.

An obtrusive, tiny steel harpoon is sent ahead,

impaled with a hollow space.

That hollow space is a catalyst in Dadi’s ideal society.

Quenching her thirst of  sugary goodness, the harpoon picks on the cream and collects it,

                 lifts it up high and feeds it to the drains.

Yes, Ma likes tea with cream.

        Ma drinks tea without cream.

Circles and bubbles; the harpoon stirring, operating.


The tea leaves still  scattered, are now out of the drink.

Is it smoke or clouds of scientific distillation?

Anyway, the cups contain happiness, for some.

Raucous emptiness, for Others.

It is not satisfaction, dear brother, it is, but, diluted (liquid) satisfaction (tea).

Liquid chai- that is what is served here.”

Ma enters the moralised class, with a tray of tea cups brimmed with diluted satisfaction.

Dadi’s grandson drinks it and goes out to play.

Upon a hakka noodle head.

Don’t be aggressive with the strands.

Pull each carefully. Pick them like they were to be your parents. Yes, you do choose to make different things your parents, sometimes.
You are anyway two and a half years old since you last sat for the exams. Old, you are. Wise, is your idea of being old.
Well, The black and white is good to be remembered. Fond memories of watching Tom and Jerry. Running around in your swampy knickers with your ma chasing you, feeding you Rotis. Did you also like Jerry more than Tom? Amusing. But that was then.
Now, it is better to know that baldness is minority, friend.  After all, very few people opt out of having the bulk on their heads. Therefore, pull each strand carefully.
The first being your love, keep a special place for that. How about the center? Then, I suggest, go for your job. Shouldn’t that be at the center? Pick the strand of your complexion. No. The file of your certificates. Where will you fix it? At the center. Three strands on your head, right at the center.
Pick the strand of your complexion. No, no. The bottle of Rooh Afza. Why place that in a corner? I say, place it at the center. Pick the strand of your complexion. Not now. The book you read every night. Like it? The center spot, then.

What else do we have here? The strand of Shahi Pulaav. Okay. This has to be planted nowhere but the center.
Not this strand but that. Actually this. Put it wherever. I’d advice, the center.
The head looks fine. The next second you have more strands. The strand of desirable denim pants. We’ll come back to it. The leather jacket goes at the center.
The strand of air tickets? The Lofty Summer air is close so, center. Post it. Now, The strand of denim pants, very close to the center.
Don’t be aggressive, yet. You have more coming. But your head looks fine.

#life #desires #metaphor