The Poetic Meanders

The Poetic Meanders
The Teesta River - captured by Parth Adhikari

Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Library

The Library

In that town's library
Where we met years ago,
I again stand, alone
Like that day. And although
The door chimes still sound
Every time someone
Other than you enters,
I know I am undone.

The crone, older now, sits
Absorbed. Looking upward
From the lenders' ledger,
Flapping up like a bird
Every time strangers
Nudge her library's quiet.
But now it is not us
Responsible for the riot.

The literature wing
Today has nothing we
Loved in our times, poets
Who do not rhyme sit free
On the wooden shelves
Across which we first saw
One another searching -
You for Keats, I for Shaw.

Outside, the cafe serves
Scones too. You'd be pleased
To know our Mister Singh
Asked about you. He's eased
Into his calm eighties
Quite unbelievable, no?
Well, he's senile, yet has
Asked me to say "Hello."

Our Gulmohur's shade being
A delight as ever,
Now hosts young couples who
Believe in forever.
They are too young to know
What I haven't expressed -
The loss of the love I
Once profoundly possessed.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Scabs Anew (Part I)

 Scabs Anew (Part I)

May, one day, over drinks (scotch, neat, for me,
And the unbearable water for you)
We return to a moment such as this -
And as true friends, reflect on how time flew
Between us. Leave behind feelings such as
Those that none of us ever gave words to,
So when we feel the other’s stolen glance
Upon us, we know better than to do
Or say anything that ruins our present,
Or as it goes, reddens the scabs anew.

Friday, 16 October 2015



I miss mornings we, for years, had together –
Drinking tea to our similar settled taste
Of Earl Grey, reclining in the cane chairs,
When, at times, Arlene would lay to waste
Our calm quiet with her constant purring.
You’d pour her milk in her melamine bowl,
Chide me for acquiescing to Ritu’s pet-whims;
Stopping at, “Well, better this cat than that foal!”

Barefoot we would walk on the slippery grass,
Talk about daily things with vacuity,
See the sun in the west change colour from
A bright crimson to yellow, gradually.
You would point to the Bougainvillea,
Make a note of getting the vines pruned fine,
And on hearing the alarm you’d rush to the kitchen
Leaving me with the day’s printed headlines.


Mornings are tough now. The walk is difficult -
My rheumatoid has made me somewhat weak.
Arlene is dead. So are Figaro and Felix,
And Ritu’s calls come in only twice a week.
A quiet descends like fog over the garden,
Hiding in its fold the misshapen flowers
Scrambling these days over the wall, beyond
The view afforded by these early hours.

Your old cane chair must have been given out.
Otherwise, its absence I cannot explain.
Around me, facades are collapsing
But mourning, like most of life, is in vain.
What little is left I reflect upon –
Memories. Pills. Bifocals for the news.
But in this despicable solitude,
I remember you. I remember you.

Friday, 18 September 2015

A Dancing Sylph

A Dancing Sylph

She puts on a yellow guise of gentleness,
Vermilion is dotting her demure palms,
Her locks are plaited like silk strands,
Scents bring out her natural charms.

Humility shines in her limpid eyes,
Her supple body sparkles her young age,
She keeps devotion in her pure heart,
With this her feet kiss the waiting stage.

Her face shows a plethora of expressions
Like a battlefield of a thousand emotions,
The air hums a certain soundless magic
Softly echoing her innocent notions.

She dances like a poem with a fire-
A music that enchants every mind.
She is a flower of beautiful hues
A petal of which is hard to find.

Saturday, 5 September 2015



Since, you have not yet returned.

You have not yet returned
Since the: “Don’t wait for me,
I might get late tonight;
There’s work. Love you baby.”

You have not yet replied
To: “Was the salt to taste?” -
A handwritten note in your
Questions laden lunch-case.

You have not yet called home
Since the:  “I am stuck here,
There is a meeting now –
Sales have dropped – everywhere!”

You have not yet arrived.
It is beyond midnight.
I wait in this dimness
Pierced by the streetlight.

The phone rings. Is it you?
No. “Hello, Kavita?
Have you watched the news?
Havoc! Where’s Ajoy da?”

On the television:
The Taj, Trident, Leopold
Have all been attacked, oh!
Horrible events unfold.

V.T. too! No, please God
No, let this be false!
Where are you? Why aren’t you
Answering my phone calls?

I’ve stayed up all night long,
Your parents are here. Mine
Have called a thousand times,
“Things, Ma, are far from fine.”

I reach the hospital
Hoping to find you named
In the list of those wounded,
Rather in of those unclaimed.

Years gone. No news of you.
They have cleared the debris,
Wiped clean the blood, the shells;
Just not the memory.

But you haven’t yet returned
Since the: “Don’t wait for me,
I might get late tonight;
There’s work. Love you baby.”