poetry

Kanyadaan / Indian wedding ceremony

I don’t want to spend time
Being all prim and proper
Getting every nip and tuck done
Like the Versailles garden before the tourist season
Browsing countless catalogues
Of banarasi, zardosi and sequin prints
Bookmarking posts on Instagram of
Wedding planners, fashion magazines
And high end wedding couture designers
Who have decided
What’s the colour of the season
And the next wedding destination
I don’t want to spend time
Parading around shopping lanes
Surveying if they have what’s trending
In the celebrity circle at a price I can afford
I don’t want to spend time
Fretting over minute details of the
Catering menu, invitations and flowers to display
In the bridezilla mode
With the pressure to look good
Watching dad run around ensuring everything is in place
All because this is supposed to be my big day?
Is this the day I celebrate our love and commitment?
Or is it a celebration of our religion and culture?
I don’t need the fire to be a witness to my vows
Or those 2000 guests who didn’t know I existed until now
I also don’t need blessings (read as monetary gifts)
From the entire community of our hometown
I would rather elope than check with a priest
To provide an auspicious time to get hitched
I don’t need to be adorned or decorated like paintings on the wall
Or for the colour of the henna to tell me
If I my marriage will be strong and if my husband will love me more
Chanting mantras, I don’t understand or know
My biggest objection
The concept of Kanyadaan
Father of the bride giving her away to the husband
Like we are objects of claim
A whole ceremony performed to honour this sacred transaction
Why should my dad give me away?
Why should anyone give anyone away?
I am no one’s to give, no one’s to take
You might think this is just a 3-day affair
of pre-party, party and after party
if you do you are only naive to think that it is because it’s not
We’ve only managed to abolish sati and dowry
when are we are going to start objecting to Kanyadaan
We can continue blaming the patriarchy
But do we have the courage to not be a part of it?

poetry

A free world

Imagine you had nobody, no family, friend, spouse, or sibling
No responsibility, liability or obligation to meet
What would you do?
Would you still be stuck in that job, piling years and years of service?
Would you still be living in that city for eternity?
Would you still be in that relationship that doesn’t let you be?
Instead what would you do,
Would you then live like you are supposed to?
Doing things you like, love, and value
Without caring a whit
What others might think
You could go voyaging country from country, city to city,
Away from chaos and cacophony
Imagine you lived in a freer world, void of success benchmarks
With cause of envy — only inner happiness
What would you do?
Would you still be relentless in chasing that dream someone else envisioned for you?
Would you still sign up for that course you thought is good for you?
What would you do?
Imagine a world that imposed free will as the default choice
Would you have chosen differently?
To live a life more true to your being
Unafraid of what may be
Years and years ahead of you,
To be able to walk out from that which doesn’t suit you
To start from scratch to build what calls you
Imagine a world in which you didn’t have to conform to the norms of the society
That tells you who to be and what to do
What would you do?

poetry

A Divide

No matter what you say
No matter what I say
There exists
A divide
That separates us
A boundary we can’t cross
Our worlds separated
Not by land mass, sea and borders
But a divide
Larger than us
That we don’t see but know
A gap unbridged
Limiting us
Our fate
Changed forever
Where we would’ve walked
Side by side
I now walk alone

poetry

Meaning

not of a person, thing or memory
but something
from within
to hold onto
that liberates
not hope but resolve
not advise stupid or wise
not of a play, movie or book
lyrics of a song or stanzas of a poem
memories forgotten
letters lost
nothing seems to have meaning
we search meaning of life
through words that limit us
feeling boxed in

poetry

Storyboard

I don’t want an empty storyboard
A writing pad always full
Despite the changing landscape
Sketches perpetually extend
I don’t want an empty storyboard
My inner world
Emotions in vivid technicolor
Its richness
Unshared with the outer world
I dont want an empty storyboard
A dreamer or an idealist
Unconcerned by the logistics
Determined to get it done
Come hades or high water
I don’t want an empty storyboard
A respite from life’s daily stressors
Exchanging witty banters
When human needs flare up
Don’t hold back, make it happen
I dont want an empty storyboard
A writing pad always full
Another chapter to the story
A tipping point moment
Dont close the books yet
Another addendum maybe?

poetry

Show me who you are

Show me who you are
Bare your soul and
Share your truth with me
Show me the person you see
When you look into the mirror
Tell me your 4 AM thoughts
Tell me about why you got that tattoo
And your battle scars
Tell me what drives you
What excites you
What you dream about
Sometimes even during the day
Show me what you scribble
In that diary you hide
Accumulated thoughts undescribed
Tell me your doubts and fears
Your misgivings of tomorrow
Give me a 1000 words review
Of the movie you liked or
the book you couldn’t put down
Confess your sins and your
Crimes committed against humanity
Tell me why you shed those tears
And what made you cringe
Tell me about those random moments
That shaped your reality
Tell me your epiphanies
Tell me about that stranger you met in the bus
And that fair weather friend who flew
To flock with birds of the same feather
Show me your real world
Not one in which you smile and laugh
Letting everyone know its A-okay
Show me who you are
So I can show you too

poetry

All I want and need

I don’t need you to tell me you love me,
Or if I am precious and important to thee
I only wish you’d spend a little of your time
Talking and conversing with me
Take me on bike rides and road trips
To mountain tops and sandy beach
Give me memories to cherish
And adventures to live by
Words to think
And stories to read
Lend me your ear so I can rant
And a shoulder to lean
A friend I can count on
On my dark and stormy nights
Don’t buy me a Prada, Gucci and LV
Or anything else that money can buy
For these things i can myself supply
it’s your love even in unsaid words and presence
Is all I want and need

poetry

Shh don’t talk..

You want me to talk
But when I talk
You don’t want to listen
Because my opinion and thought
More often than not
Doesn’t sit well with you

Communication a two way street
You want to know what I think
But unlike a ping pong game
You only want to hit and hit
And not let it bounce back
From the other side
Of the conversation table to yours

Your opponent has no chance
To take a shot or
Make a serve
Never even close to a draw
The scores now
Eleven to zero

The winner of the match
Award goes to you, for
Slamming your point across
Without a pause
Unready to listen
To what I have to say to you

poetry

Indian Matchmaking

Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If his name is Amar, Akbar or Anthony
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If he is tall, short, fat or lean
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
About his bank balance or the money he makes
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If he is an MBA, a school dropout or just a B.E
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If he is a single child or a mama’s boy
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
Of his vices and peculiar point of view
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
Of his ancestral history or inheritance
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
About the alphabets in his blood type
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If he is a divorcee with a child
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If he shares the aspiration to travel like you
But who am I to think love is important
Love is blind and I am naive
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If she is fair and lovely or short and dusky
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If she is slim, trim, flabby or healthy
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If she’s an independent entrepreneur making more money than you
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If like your mother she can cook for you
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If she has qualities of an ideal Stepford Wife
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
About her past lovers and sexual life
But who am I to think love is important
Love is blind and I am naive
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
About the city in which they reside
Or if they are mute or blind
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
The past baggage they carry
Or their medical history
Only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
If they want to have kids many or none
Or if your birth chart scores don’t confirm
But who am I to think love is important
Love is blind and I am naive
To not partake in this
Transaction based market place, where
Compatibility is disguised as a checklist
Created with reasonable care
That needs to match in this affair
But only when you are in love, you wouldn’t care
Of these qualities inconsequential and bare

poetry

Sombre Clouds

Sombre clouds
There’s a nip in the air
With strands of sodden hair
I stare out of my window pane
To watch again the incessant rain
Awaking from a day long slumber, I see
Darkness still surrounds me
Cooped in my room all weekend
I wait for these inclement days to end
So i can rove away
Soaking in the waves of sunshine,
Meandering through the coastline
That’ll take away
my vacant attention
As I draft chronicles worthy of mention
As and when these clouds clear
For the indulgent ear
But for now I am stuck in my room
Counting hours to this gloom
Sombre clouds
There’s a nip in the air
Through the window, I peek and stare
Here and there, everywhere

poetry

Give me strength to love

Give me strength
To love even those
Who’ve hurt me
Give me strength
To love that which
I may never have
Give me strength
To love for love’s sake
And hurt not for love unrequited
Give me strength
To love him
for his own happiness
that lies not in me
but someplace else
Give me strength
To love, undiminished
By what I cant control
Give me strength
To love even if it is
For old time’s sake
Give me strength
To love for he is
Absent today
Give me strength
To love for he was
Absent yesterday
Give me strength
To love for
Tomorrows weren’t promised
Give me strength
To love unconditionally
In muted silence and solitude
Give me strength
To love for love’s sake
And hurt not for love unrequited

poetry

O Love

O love, bring me a lover, a sweet sweet lover;
Who’ll understand the depth of my heart,
Hear sorrows of yesterday, and see beauty in pain, a bold lover,
Who is tougher than the rest,

Through his eyes he’d see me, the real me, the me I could not see
Because of what they said and did repeatedly,
The secrets I’d share he’ll keep, and agree
To words that can’t be expressed easily

We‘d waste time chasing cars
After the boys of summer have gone
Through empty streets and bars,
Till the break of dawn

Stolen moments shared , when I was under your spell
If you were the one, this would be a different tale to tell