Poems

Poetry happens when one does not look at Life as a problem to be solved but as a mystery to be lived.
Poetry happens when the multiple layers and labyrinth of this mystery are reveled and lived.
Poetry happens when one’s life experiences tough a personal as well as a universal chord within.
Poetry happens spontaneously- using words to transcend words.

My poetry does not follow any miter or literary norms. It is an uninhabited, honest expression of a common person.

Some of my poems

 

  • 1974

    The Call

    I continue walking
    walking along the parallel rails,
    still believing that they would meet somewhere
    they seem to meet at the horizon;
    But the further I walk,
    further moves the horizon.

    I go on ..........
    with the firm conviction that
    the ireducable distance between me & the horizon
    would shrink sometime some where.

    I have been going on like this
    for the last twenty two years.
    Tired, resigned people stop me on the way
    and ask me to settle down like them,
    somewhere by the side of the parallel rails,
    the place where they gave up hope
    and stopped walking.

    I continue walking .......
    the more I walk,
    the fewer are the people I meet on the way
    They tell me about the many who passed them
    and never returned.
    I wonder how many have further settled on the way
    and how many have reached their goal.

    But it bothers me not because
    as long as I hear
    that distant harkening of my own self
    which seems so alienated
    at this moment,
    I will continue walking .......
    to meet my own self.

    I thought I heard my voice two nights ago
    I woke up with
    an ecstatic thrill running through my body.
    I waited for it to call me again
    so that I could find my bearings
    and start walking again.

    But it never called.
    I stayed up the last two nights,
    didn't sleep a wink
    fearing I would miss it in

    that very second.
    I got myself together
    to start out
    the very moment it beckoned
    But it never beckoned.
    My voice called me two nights ago
    to reveal itself in me,
    To manifest itself in me,
    to show me where
    those parallel rails met.
    It may call again
    when I am in deep slumber to
    wake me, shake me and
    set me on the move again.
    I would go on moving
    that it would call me again
    when I am moving
    when I am awake.

  • 1974

    The Becoming

    I sit here in a timeless state
    extending myself
    into
    the fresh green offshots
    of a withered plant,
    mingling with the raindrops
    and soaring into the clouds
    in the form of yonder hills
    then I cascade
                 down
                   as a stream
    solidifying into rocks on my way
    to later amorphise into soil and dust.

    I grow dense and shady
    with the jungles.
    Soon I am rustling through its leaves
    in a constant murmur
    singing on its branches in a
    Koel's disguise.

    I colour myself into a painting
    compose myself into a 'raga'
    and
    sculpt myself into a house.

    Mingling with various people
    sharing their joys and sorrows,
    I shed my limits
    to experience
    the limitless.

  • 1974

    Seeking

    What is life?
    What are we striving for ?
    What is it that we seek?

    The more we strive and the more we seek elsewhere
    the less we shall find
    Cause all that concerns
    life and death
    body and soul
    God and devil
    is transacting and is at work
    within ourselfs.

  • 1976

    No Shirish left

    A wandering cloud
    wanders
    in the blue sky
    plays with the wind and sky
    becomes the wind and sky
    No cloud left.

    The water over the stove
    boils
    plays with the heat and air
    becomes heat and air
    No water left.

    Watching this
    I become the cloud
    I become the water
    No Shirish left.

  • 1976

    The Maya

    Not many days ago, 

    All of a sudden, 

    A group of palms 

    Metamorphosed 

    into people ..... 

    known people conversing with one another. 

     

    Now, that man 

    has changed into 

    a cow   .... a walking cow. 

     

    The insects 

    have already become 

    leaves and stones 

     

    Oh God! 

    One day your 'Maya' 

    will turn me mad 

    Totally mad. 

    That day, 

    I await. 

  • 1980

    Words

    I am somebody 

    A somebody 

    made by words 

    By a name word, 

    a money word, 

    a fame word, 

    by ten thousand words which make 

    the 'I' word 

    Words explaining words. 

      

    Once, I missed the word 

    and stumbled upon 

    Reality 

    Stumbled upon 

    Myself 

    the Somebody dropped off.

  • 1982

    Look

    Let's look and we will find that every person has something to offer 

    Let's look deep and we will see that every living being has something to offer 

    Let's look deeper and we will realize than everything has something to offer 

    Let's look beyond the depth and we will realize that 

    Nothing has everything to offer. 

  • 1982

    A Paradox?

    Loving everybody 

    I miss nobody! 

    The joy within 

    feels the joy without! 

    A full life 

    has nothing to fulfill 

    Being nowhere 

    one belongs everywhere. 

  • 1982

    Offering

    Life is one  full, wonderful, 

    continuous offering,  

    always offering us something 

    through everything 

    even through pain and conflict. 

    Drowning in this fullness and wholeness 

    of Life, 

    I joyfully become  

    the offered and offering.

  • 2000

    Driving through Khandala Ghat

    Dirty pot holed mucky roads 

    expressions of dirty, corrupt, greedy minds. 

     

    Sweaty- diesel fumed endless traffic jams 

    manifestations of confused, non considerate, negligent minds. 

    and then 

    Suddenly on the right- 

     

    A fresh, clean, cascading, dancing water fall 

    admist lust green foliage. 

     

    Such a pleasant surprise- 

    -kind of restoring one’s hope and faith in Life. 

  • 1985

    Madness

    "You got everything   except one thing   

    Madness! 

    Man needs some madness   or else .... 

    or else he never dares  cut the rope and be  

    free." 

     

     

    Yes Zorba! Madness is the spark of life! 

    the spirit of freedom 

    the breathe of fresh air 

    in this routine, conditioned, claustrophobically stagnant atmosphere. 

    Madness 

    that always creates, innovates, improvises  

    for others to scorn, mock, ridicule and then  

    belatedly follow .... by then 


    a new madness starts ... 

    bubbling with  life energy 

    with the intense desire to express, to manifest ... 

    'to be'.! 

     

    Madness is the end of hypocracy ! 

    madness is the courageous beginning of spontaneity 

    Madness is to be free .. 

    free to love, to shout, to sing, to dance, to cry ... 

    to abandon one's self 

     

    to let go 

    is to have. 

  • 1987

    Varanasi

    The poor, wretched, decaying lepers 

    wait for ages on the ageless and aging ghats. 

    The stale stench of urine and the hurriedly half burnt corpses 

    do not weaken their hope that 

    the  holy Ganga will heal them 

    They wait .... 

    as parts of their body slowly and painfully shed themselves. 

     

    Thirty one shaven, oily heads dumbly sit 

    shining in the weary sun, 

    A ring of dried grass in their fingers and 

    a fat, sweaty priest mumbling vague sounds in their midst  

    assures them 

    that the spirit of their dead relative burning nearby 

    will soar to heaven with the smoke. 

    Very carefully, respectfully and seriously 

    they carry the ashes of the body that was once 

    abused, insulted, harassed and loved by them. 

     

    He sits under a large thatch umbrella ... 

    selling good fortune 

    prices varying from 10 to 200 paise 

    confused, anticipating, fortune seeking faithfuls buy it 

    on their wet, demanding foreheads. 

     

    Walking along overflowing drains 

    in the dark narrow alleys, 

    A 'holy' cow walks regally & confidently 

    pushing me against 

    a red spat upon wall. 

     

    I sit on these ancient, vibrant steps 

    of the picturesque ghats   

    mind travelling through 

    the myriad spaces and recesses, labyrinths and mazes of 

    this mysterious 'holy' ' unholy' city .... 

    the human mind.

  • 1987

    What happened ?

    Ebullient, bubbling joy 

    spirited, spontaneous actions 

    wonder filled, beautiful, innocent faces 

    graceful, lively movements and 

    the boisterously cheerful sounds 

    of these small, playful children 

    here. 

     

    And there ..... 

    dull, inhibited, conditioned faces 

    awkward, forced movements and 

    the suppressed nervous sounds of 

    those 'grown up, educated' adults. 

     

    Why? what happened? 

  • 1988

    Silence

    Only in silence 

    one understands 

    the  futility of words 

    the futility of symbols 

     

    In silence 

    one realizes 

    that the map is not the territory 

     

    In silence 

    one does not justify, compare, impress, manipulate, 

    does not assert, demand or instigate 

     

    In total silence, 

    there is no 'becoming'   no movement 

    only 'being' 

    when an expansive awareness  

    spreading from the centre 

    towards the circumferential infinity 

  • 1989

    Stillness

    In our civilization's labyrinth motion, 

    I search for 

    the motionless still centre 

     

    Every movement done 

    to reach the stillness 

    breeds more momentum. 

    Our quest for outer happiness 

    deprives us 

    of our inner bliss. 

    Aiming at peace 

    through violence today  

    breeds more violence tomorrow 

     

    Running away from sorrow 

    brings us closer to sorrow. 

    Seeking satisfaction 

    through the act of possession 

    creates greater dissatisfaction. 

     

    All arguments to find a solution 

    take us further from the solution. 

     

    Most knowledge cannot reach the unknown shore 

    the river contains less when it fills up more. 

     

    Mind is movement 

    with thoughts always restless 

    only the "Centre" is motionless. 

     

    Desire is movement 

    with the urge for 'having' 

    only "Love" is unmoving 

     

    Time is movement 

    the past present future tussle 

    only "Now" is eternal 

     

    All is always 'now' 

    Love is 'here & now' 

    Stillness is 'here & now'!

  • 1989

    Samsara

    Yesterday, I sat here and saw 

    the splendid panaroma of Nature 

    and of Life 

    unfolding itself   through the open railing of this verandah. 

     

    Today, I see only fragments 

    through petticoats, sleeves and laces 

    through the gaps between 

    towels and underwears 

    through the trappings of 'Samsara' 

    hanging and drying on the railing. 

  • 1991

    The Tentacles

    So many outstretched 

    tentacled arms 

    crowding together 

    in a faceless spiky crowd 

    that crowns the urban landscape. 

     

    Caricatures of their owners 

    transmitters of conditioning 

    shapers of upbringing 

    creaters of longing 

    makers of images 

    and breakers of images. 

     

    Long, light, shining 

    outstretched, straightfaced, rigid tentacles 

    These T.V. antenas. 

  • 1992

    The Adyar foot bridge

    The incomplete, deteriorating bridge   

    A bridge that starts to bridge 

    but never reaches the other shore 

     

    One shore has the philosophy 

    goodness of thoughts 

    and glorious past. 

     

    The other has the day to day action 

    an ever accelerating pace 

    and an apparently gloomy future. 

     

    Later I learnt  

    that part of the bridge had collapsed 

    due to poor construction. 

     

    How appropriate  

    that corruption of the human mind 

    is not allowing the bridging 

    of past and future 

    of philosophy and action. 

    Now, polluted, troubled waters flow beneath. 

     

    It is said and believed that 

    once the bridging occurs, 

    the waters would turn clean. 

    When?

  • 1992

    The waiting room

    The faceless faces 

    in the railway waiting room 

    wear heavily a numb, listless expression 

    upon themselves 

    tired, bored and resigned. 

     

    Suddenly, 

    a beautiful spontaneous bubbling laughter 

    from one corner 

    A child dancing and spinning around himself 

    dizzily to the tune of the life 

    falls on the floor and.... 

    .....laughs.

  • 1989

    The oneness

    Eyes closed 

    floating on the placid sea 

    being carried around 

    in its soft mellifluous arms 

    Caressed by the warm sun and the cool breeze 

    an all pervading goodness of being 

    descends on me. 

     

    Who caresses whom ? 

    What floats on what? 

    Does it matter 

    in this oneness of life?

  • 1990

    The storm and the silence

    The roaring, rising, restless sea 

    the turbulent, howling, jostling wind 

    and the whipping lashing rain 

    ruthlessly shake and beat the plants to pain 

    beyond their tolerant state. 

    The entire house too seems to tremble and sweat. 

     

    With the thunder and flashes by their side 

    the sound and fury is violently unleashed outside 

    when I slowly cautiously peep inside, 

    inside of myself   

     

    Can it remain calm and serene  

    inspite of the restless agitated scene! 

    Can it be securely at ease 

    inspite of the insecurity created by the winds & seas?    

     

    Can it be a conscious witness of the moment  

    without any anxious anticipatory torment? 

    Can it choicelessly accept the present 

    or will it cultivate aversion and resent? 

    Watching thus 

    the choices melt   the option disappears 

    and an enduring, all encompassing silence appears 

     

    A silence that deeply & penetratingly shovels 

    its way into this sound & fury's bowels  

    only to find itself there 

     

    Then the silence inside 

    merges with that silence outside.

  • 1995

    Tolerance & Intolerance

    1995   "the year of tolerance"! 

    Says the United Nations. 

     

    Aren't we deceiving ourselves 

    or vainly trying to console ourselves 

    by naming it thus? 

    In a society that encourages 

    one up manship, egotism and 

    self gratifications, 

    can tolerance happen? 

     

    We carry on with our separatism 

    born out of religious and ethnic intolerance 

    resulting into quarrels and oppressive violence. 

    Hasty intolerant reactions 

    violent eruptions 

    or crafty, aggressive allegations, 

    'we' 

    would like to destroy 

    the 'other' 

    psychologically or physically. 

     

    And at the same time, 

    Haven't all these years been 

    'years of tolerance'? 

    tolerating lies and false commitments, 

    lack of involvement with  

    hastily done slip shod work. 

    We have been tolerating the outcome of 

    the intolerance of some,  

    their greed and overconsumption. 

     

    So could we have an intolerantly tolerant 

    and tolerantly intolerant year   

    not one but many many years to come? 

     

    Yes, could we cultivate 

    'intolerance'? 

    intolerance to hollow hypocrisy and corruption, 

    to political idolism and interference, 

    to suppressive goonda pressures 

    to the deteriorating quality of work 

    intolerance to 

    the loud, competitive, vulgar commercialization 

    and the wastefully overindulgent consumption? 

     

    And, Could 'tolerance' happen towards 

    good harmless individual faith 

    to individual freedom and truth 

    to individual dignity and life 

    not through slogans and 

    politically motivated words 

    but  

    when "we" compassionately expand, 

    become all encompass 

    and dissolve  

    'the other' 

    in our all inclusiveness. 

  • 1994

    Joy

    Walking to the seashore 

    on the soft 'joy' of the sand 

    feeling on the bare body 

    the 'joyous' caress of the breeze 

    and then 

    sliding into the cool 'joy' 

    of the sea waters and 

    experiencing the weightless 'joy' 

    while floating on the waters 

    with the bright 'joyous' light 

    dancing on the  wave crests. 

     

    Returning to the warm, fragrant 'joy' of a bath 

    the 'joy' of a clean & refreshed feeling 

     

    Stepping out of the bathroom 

    to the glorious,  vermillion outburst of 'joy'.... 

    the sunset at sea. 

     

    Gradually, the forming of  

    the twinkling 'joy' 

    of the stars in the sky 

    and in this way   

    'joy' ad infinitum 

    a 'joyous' continuam of happenings 

    an 'inner' 'joy' 

    feeling 

    the 'outer' 'joy'!

  • 1996

    Empathy

    Why do 'I' feel satiated 

    when the plants  

    are watered after a dry spell? 

     

    Why is it that  

    'I' feel free & happy 

    when our dog is untied? 

     

    How is it that 'I' 

    feel stable, strong & safe 

    when certain structural members  

    are strengthened & braced properly? 

     

    What makes 'me' bubble within 

    at the sight of  

    a babbling, frothing stream or waterfall? 

     

     Why does a feeling of weightlessness 

    engulf 'me' 

    at the sight of that  bird's lovely flight? 

     

    Why do 'I' feel cleansed, refreshed 

    in a beautiful, clean environment? 

     

    Why is it 

    that 'I' feel balanced and harmonious within 

    in a well designed space? 

     

    Why do 'I' feel sad 

    at the exploitation of the poor 

    and happy 

    at the free, open, spontaneous smile 

    on people's faces? 

     

    Is this empathy 

    born out of 

    the wholistic unified experience of life 

    or is it the extension & sublimation of my ego? 

     

    Why do I have to ask these questions? 

    Why do I have to verbalize a living experience? 

     

    Let the feelings flow spontaneously  

    to grace the actions 

    allowing the actions to happen 

    in tune with life's richness & wholeness.

  • 1995

    Priorities

    It's just a matter 

    of priorities           

    to own five square feet 

    of commercial space at 

    Nariman point 

    or  

    five acres of natural wilderness 

    in the Konkan. 

    Both cost the same! 

     

    Isn't it a matter of choice 

    to join the money making rat race 

    in your imported, air conditioned, air freshened BMW 

    on the busy, noisy neon lit high street 

    or 

    withdraw onto the slow lane 

    with shady trees and chirping birds 

    working with love, joy and compassion. 

    Both the possibilities are always open! 

     

    Yes, a matter of attitudes in 

    one's idea of enjoyment   

    to sip scotch 

    with the social glitterati 

    in  gaudy, gossipy, glamorously cluttered gaziboes 

    dressed in perfumed, imported designer clothes 

     

    or 

    it could be 

    a naked dip in the roaring seas 

    a walk amidst fragrant blossoming trees 

    and a quiet uncluttering of 

    one's inner spaces 

    the choice is ours   the superficial or the intrinsic 

      

    Always a matter of priorities in 

    approaching life's summation 

    through the crowded world of information 

    with numerous communication medias 

    each with its own phobias  or 

    approaching life's diversity 

    with thoughtful value based priority 

    and with an empty mind's innocence 

    that can transcend all turbulence  

    Both the categories exist  

     

    Yes, these are the very priorities 

    that shape our societies 

    and help us tackle daily realities.

  • 1975

    Distraction

    Only distracted propel 

    notice 

    distracted people 

    only distracted, disturbed, distorted people 

    create 

    distractions, disturbances, distortions 

    Those who are busy ‘living’ 

    have no time for these. 

  • 1986

    At the inauguration of the SDM complex

    Sitting here in this huge ceremonial pendal 

    appears redundant.   

    The hours and hours of standing in the sun 

    amidst stones, cement and dust 

    putting them together 

    was so much more relevant & satisfying. 

    Listening to praises being showered upon on the microphone 

    does not feel as enjoyable as 

    the music of the dressing of stones, 

    the concrete mixers vibrations, 

    the workers shouts and 

    the first sounds of our cascading water 

    in the entrance pool. 

  • 2006

    The light

    Washing and revitalizing  

    the various surfaces and forms, 

    breathing life into spaces, 

    the light flows in 

    uniting 

    the outside with the inside 

    the measurable with the immeasurable 

    the four dimensions with the ‘spirit’ dimension 

     

    An expressive awareness 

    Starts spreading from the centre 

    Towards the circumferential infinity

  • 2000

    Being

    Many a times, there seems to be something deeper, 

    something of greater relevance and significance  

    to this daily act of LIVING. 

     

    The more I attempt to describe it, the more I seem to loose it 

     

    With no hang ups or compulsions 

    for climbing the social, professional, monetary ladder,. 

    every journey becomes its own destination 

    every moment - Life's glorious rejoicing 

     

    Could I not rejoice in just 'BEING' ? 

  • 2007

    A new dialogue

    Lived on the mountain top, then in the valley; 

    and then by the seashore—further and further away from my hometown. 

    ‘Whereto from here?’ – chuckled my friends. 

    ‘onto an island or under the sea ?’ 

    But with graying hair and after the 

    hectic travel and maintenance activity at all these places, 

    their howling winds, gushing streams and the roaring restless seas – 

    a serene placid lake, nestled amidst green wooded hills, 

    nearer to my hometown, beckoned me. 

    Fitting myself snugly on the hill slope facing the lake, 

     

    I started this new dialogue – 

    with its lapping waves 

    and rustling forest leaves; 

    with the mewing peacocks, cackling wild fowl, 

    the grunting sambars and the twittering birds. 

    Assimilating within ,  

    the shepherd’s flute tunes that float over the waters 

    and the setting sun’s colourful palette, 

    I gradually learn to converse with  

    the lake’s eloquent silence, 

    and its mute reflections. 

    Probing its enigmatic depth seems like 

    delving deeper into my own self. 

  • Small poems / haikus

    The lake boils in the rains 

    and steams in the cold 

     

     

    Was it a cry or a laugh 

    or a whisper? 

    The frothing brook.            

     

     

     

    Life, 

    We do not enter it 

    We only think and masturbate over it 

     

     

    The lotus 

    when it bloomed 

    made no noise 

     

     

     

    The branches 

    of fallen tree 

    becomes trees 

     

           

     

    With the sun behind me 

    I follow 

    my shadow 

     

      

    When i switched off the light 

    A light was put on 

    the moonlight. 

     

           

    On the branch of a huge Jambul 

    lives  

    A purple flower 

     


    Wandering across unending, dry, barren lands, 

    I encounter 

    Delight... 

    A boy with two mangoes in his hands is dancing 

    to the tune of life 

    in the cool shade of a large mango tree. 

     

     

      

    The  river laughs  

    Poorna laughs 

    We laugh 

    The laughter mingles and... 

    flow on... 

     

         

     

     

    The river 

    when it flows 

    makes a moving sound 

    making us hear 

    the soundless sound 

     

     

     

     

    We are working in life 

    we are eating in life 

    We are running in life 

    Why? 

    To avoid death 

    Where? 

    to meet death! 

     

             

     

     

    In the city we pay for some peace and quiet 

    In the village they pay for some noise 

    Man always wants that he does not have.