On life and its vagaries

Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Crossing A River

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The Original Story


“Two mendicants, having taken a vow of celibacy

 Were about to cross a river


A pretty lass was about to do the same

But was looking with fear at the rushing waters


The young mendicant suggested that

 One of them carries her across


The old guy said:


Son, we have taken a vow

Of celibacy, we can’t do such things


The other Said:


We have only taken

A vow of not marrying, not one of Not Carrying


The old guy Said:


 Do what you will


The three got across and went their ways


After a while the old guy grumbled:

Yet you shouldn’t have done that:


The young one responded:


I deposited her on the shore itself

Strangely you seem to be still carrying her!”




( This was the old tale. Yet what happened was this):


The Real Story


The old guy

Seeing the younger one quite set on carrying her across

And grasping the dangers of bodily contact

Volunteered to carry her saying:


 Just watch our rear, when we are in the waters


They proceeded thus to the other side

The girl turning her head to look at the boy often

And the boy blushing when their eyes met


Water being a fine conductor of nervous energy

Their rapport was instantaneous


At the far side, after thanking the old man

They both took off together


The old guy, watching them disappear

In the distance, mused:


When you carry something precious

You either don’t put it down

Or you make sure that it stays yours

Before doing so


Touch of Dew

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Touch of Dew

While young, some girl brought me

A blade of grass with

A glistening dewdrop at its end

It looked like a drop of pearl ….


She said:


Sam, it’s so cool to the touch, you know,

Can I touch it to your eye?

  I had doubts on its coolness and

My ‘coolness’ in allowing such a silly thing

Yet being kind, I said hesitantly:

“Go ahead then”


And that touch of dew over my iris

Altered my way of seeing things…..


I don’t know where she is now

But I know she changed my life

Two Sights

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Two Sights


Something is  green in the grass

Yet it isn’t  really true

It’s only a cute little word I found


Two people are carrying something

It’s a little dead snake

Their time is past noon, fast fading

Buried Hills

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Buried Hills


As I prepare to say goodbye

To this land of hills and the ephemeral showers

I feel a deep sense of ennui

Everything feels grey, and without glitter

The green leaves seems to have lost their luster

The valley’s their life

This mist in the pass itself looks like a smog

That shrouds everything pleasant

And appears to releases an unhealthy vapor

Of mistrust and tastelessness


I stayed here for couple of long years

Shedding my sweat on these roots of grass

And trying to tend a few shoots upward even

Praying that things would change-

For the better in this land of the forsaken


I didn’t know

About the curse this land had

Of having ever to bog down to the shadow

Of a distant and disturbing past

The memories it carries of muted pains

And violated lives, both of plants and the moving

The hovering thoughts over the plateau

Of mistrust to the visiting life


The other visitors to this land, unlike me, had

Intuited this fact the moment they alighted here

They opted to play the role of disinterested visitors

And were saved by that very fact

I erred in not doing so, and carry the regret

Still with me as I say bye to these buried lands


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In the words I hear around

I can’t see a hint of light


Not that they aren’t said well

They seem to be



As they are spoken, I see

An abyss evolving,

Between those very words


Watching that fissure, I wonder

And ask myself:


Where is this breach?

In those words or in our lives?


On Certain Farming Techniques

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On Certain Farming Techniques


I‘ve put some seeds out to dry

But what’s the use

The slow goofy rain wouldn’t stop


The thing has been around

For a week, the untimely brute

Would it ever cease ?


 The seeds I have saved

Isn’t really bursting to come out


Yet I had hopes on them.

They might even come out right


Now with this rain around

There’s very little chance

Of them seeing the light of day


As I wait for a lull in the rains

I had the time to look at the past


Did I have the luck to dry all

My seeds, in time to plant them well?


None at all, it either rained or

Flared violent all the year round


And , there weren’t any seeds

At any time ready to be grafted


May be this happens to all

Is there a given time to do a thing?


We do what we can

Whether it rains or shines


Eidetic? (A consolation poem)

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Eidetic? (A consolation poem)


When I pump the old bore-well now

Only air issues forth

There would be a long hiss at first

Sending shivers through the neighborhood


Immediately there would be a parting of curtains

Bringing faces to the windows

And a freezing of children at play


It stalls the grocer and his cart to a stop

And mostly tumbles the milkman from his bike


People had become wary of the old pump


It’s not a hiss, they used to say

It’s a siren; it’s a wail of imminent danger


The long hiss would be followed by a staccato stutter

As if a machine gun is being discharged

Then an interminable gurgle would be heard

The pump had a strange way of mimicking water

It gets up my expectations and reduces me to a hopeful waiting

At last there would be silence

People would then settle into their routines

Only to be brought still by its next hiss

On rare occasions it would emit an ounce of water

It was mostly froth, and drops with a plunk,

Before anyone could catch it


Kind ladies who see me working the pump

Would smile and murmur:


Can’t you get a privet connection lad?

Why go for the bore-well water?

The water they supply us,

It is chlorinated and treated for purity

And is enriched with minerals for our use!


They reside in palatial mansions

Or the sky scrapping apartments nearby,

Purified water is brought to them 

By the truck loads and filled

To the full in their privet and capacious tanks


I would return their smiles and say:

Your kindnesses, I am poor, and do like the

Faintly tepid tang of the ground water somehow.


They would stall for a moment in pity

And say almost to themselves


You can bore or dig a well then,

Does not the city permit that?


They only permit swimming pools

Your kindnesses,

Wells seem to be unhygienic, and what’s more

They are about to issue notices to shut this off too


The ladies would then seem genuinely baffled:


How so lad, people are free to do

What they lawfully want,

Doesn’t our charter of rights say so?


It does, your kindnesses, it does, 

The trick-word being ‘lawfully’

 Do your kindnesses know who makes laws?


 Who ?


I would laugh.


That’s what we need to find out, your kindnesses,

That’s what we need to find out.


They would leave slightly perturbed, and I would

Pump the well once again, oblivious to the din.