New Book

My third book; first in Hindi, a story collection titled ‘Kuch Aapbeeti Kuch Jagbeeti’ ( कुछ आपबीती कुछ जगबीती ) published by Bharatiya Jnanpith ( भारतीय ज्ञानपीठ ) was launched in the International Book Fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 10th January 2020. The book will be available online and in book stores shortly.

Meanwhile, mail at sales@jnanpith.net to order a copy!  

Spring Song

of all this long life only one event seems real
touched and kissed entwined in your embrace
there were things I wished you would say, in your
lovemaking all burning questions sank, unwritten
melodies nestled on my lips; slightly off-cue
I dare not catalog their rippling tune, rapture beating
upon the smoke-grimed ground like rose-fingered dawns
have we met before in an incoherent dream?
you trotting along humming two lines of my song
drawing me close in rapid arpeggios, like an open
casement a note missing, all that brightness beyond
rushing in, a bough bending in the warm breeze
thin leaves swept summer-brown stirring spring
you are not perfect, slipping in and out like scurrying
clouds; distant in your masculine cruelty
I am afraid of your perfect beauty; mystical, so young
settling to sleep beside half-eaten chocolates,
vases crammed with roses, lilies, your breath
hot on my temples carrying sweetness of red wine
toes touching, arms clasped, your head on my breast
enflamed verses on loop, when I have these safe
in our metaphysical unity, what more did I need?

Conjuration

I play with images
you set floating in my mind,
every illusion casting
an identical shadow as we race
surrendering to the delirium
of which you remain in control
knowing it’d be over soon,
that the ground would become
frozen again.

I don’t even know what I say
at such moments,
you are growing silent every day
it’s always night where I am,
“I love you,” you say
if something has to be said,
what makes more sense?
we tell each other
we are lovers, in love
while my conviction
that we are on divergent paths
is revived from one conversation
to the next.

I wonder at the letters
I begin to write,
left unfinished
phone calls I break off
dialling before the last digit,
if this isn’t me on the brink
after a brief intermission
as though nothing has changed
and if I am not back
where I began?

“take this yearning seriously
you want me,” you say
and I rush to see you
in solitude I ask myself
if love is really in question
if it isn’t vulnerability
and embitterness
the neediness to which,
I am attracted?

Translucency

And how? You constantly arouse me by presentiments;
a sweet and strange mix of relief every morning
at waking up in the gusts of your musky
fragrance, and the renewal of misery; fear of
impending loss, the wondrous outlines of your lips,
just out of reach, when I am looking into the mirror, smiling,
combing my lustrous hair, each strand casting
wobbling patterns of shadow and light, my ageing skin
immorally beautiful, like an envelope folded over several times.

How solemn is soppy celibacy? Suffering as much as delighting
in air of expectancy, our bodies growing hot, chasing
each other around a track sown with violets and thorns,
tongues lapping, hunger for flesh on fingertips;
I am unfolded, unarticulated, deluge me with pails of texts,
magical nouns, verbs, adjectives of beautiful, douse the burning
phrases, white lines, when you take me, my hair, my throat,
my limbs, the world lays on floor, slightly broken, chequered
with colours, the splinters of cracked mirror make music.