The Fisherman In the Luit
From the nebulous light of a new day
Surfaced a silhouette
Of a sinewy man with a stoop.
His moth-eaten wooden canoe was Moored on the edge of the white floodplain.
Read the whole poem Published in Better than Starbucks.Link: https://betterthanstarbucks.wixsite.com/sept2020/international-poetry
Springtime in Assam
When the kuli* croons the first notes of spring
In Assam, from the verdurous gardens and woodlands green;
Below the crystal blue heavens-
A thousand bells ring
Across hills and vales, and rivers, of this great land of virtue;
Bidding adieu to the quintessential winter grey.
The kuli’s song makes evanescent
The gloom of the past year’s failures and flaws,
The melancholic loneliness of crushed relationships;
The ruptured dreams of accomplishments;
The sorrow of every suffering—-
Unveil a season of vibrant dance and melody.
The euphoric expectations climax to a crescendo
As the young maidens bedeck themselves in
Rich gold muga mekhela sadors with scarlet motifs.
Adorn their hair with a spray of fragrant lavender kopou phul,*
And with a cane japi* in their hands,
They set out to welcome spring,
With a Bihu dance or two.
The young men attired
In their muga and pat Kurta and dhoti. Armed
With their cheerful, often boisterous lyrics;
Accompanied by the dhol, pepa, and gogona,*
They woo their maidens in the spring dance of courtship.
The dancers twirl on tender fields,
Swaying their hips to the rhythm of youth,
To the beat of the drums, songs and music.
Beneath the sylvan foliage of the ornamental trees.
Yes, when the kuli,
Begins the spring song,
The shy Nahor,*
The pristine, pure, perfumed Togor,
The flaming Gulmohar-
Bloom as an overture,
The season of joy and happiness.
Of hope, of love.
Nahor: Indian rose chestnut
Kopou phul: Foxtail orchid(vanda)
Japi: traditional Assamese hat
Gogona: a small jaw harp type of musical instrument
First published in Indian Literature,Journal from the Indian Academy of Letters, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.
Published in Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.
Through roadless routes
A gutty drive
On an off-roader
Under rocks spilling waterfalls;
And shootings stones;
To arrive at Tawang
Of my Shangri La.
Wound my way
To every revered and famous spot
Breathing in a spellbound sigh
As we all do upon Nature’s plethora
In awestruck wonder.
Named and unnamed
Lanes did I walk,
At each monastery
To every statue,
Hearkened to the centuries old
Words of the monks.
Read the age old books
Preserved in the libraries.
Attended prayer services with the priests.
Still, my heart pined for Shangri La—
Where gaiety mitigated tears,
Blissful beauty bloomed in my heart,
Vanquished the evil eye of the devil,
Love divine reigned supreme in every soul.
Overpowered the naysayer,
My senses soaked
In all the goodness in life
Then, I heard peals of laughter
Across the rugged ranges,
Gamboling and gliding; dipping and rising,
Like the musical notes of a maestro,
Sweeter than the sweetest bird song.
Was their sparkling laughter saturated with;
Enveloping me in a merry breeze
Of a sultry Indian summer day.
In coarse homespun maroon sarongs,
Vibrated with mirth;
My little wish-fulfilling
Aerial lanterns .
Their mischievous eyes lit and danced.
Their sunburnt smiling faces crinkled,
Ready to bubble forth
I found my Shangri La—
In the melody of the tiny monks
As they jumped up and down,
Smiled and laughed, blowing flying kisses.
Their happiness elevated my spirit lickety-split.
My search ended, time stood still,
As our souls reached out to connect,
Smile in sublime union
For long, sacred moments.
All too soon, it was time to bid adieu.
As I waved them goodbye,
I mused—Yes, we humans once
Laughed without any expectations,
With spontaneous heartiness,
We were humane once.
I moseyed my way back,
Euphoric that the enshroud fortune
I had ventured out in search of
On my trip to Tawang
In resplendence was unveiled for me.
Heartfelt thanks to Brigadier P.K. Jaiswal for extending his warm hospitality in making our journey to Tawang memorable.
—-the tumeric flower an excerpt
I ambled around in the wee hours
Humming along with visiting birds
Singing arduously songs heralding a new day;
When, through the corner of my eyes
I glimpsed a glob of colour —
A mesmerising sight in the kitchen garden
Captivated all my senses in rapture.
Camouflaged in three feet tall paddle-like leaves
Funnelled out from their bracts
Peachy, firm, fair-petaled flowers
Rimmed with lilac pink.
Deeper down the conical blooms
Concealed from the careless eye, nestled
Golden florets in tiny leafy cups.
—-noon, 23rd October,2019.********
From the volume: Lost in Laitkor
Laitkor musings, Shillong, 23rd September 2017.
Doodling on my pink poetry notebook
In our ‘Pine Crest’ in Laitkor,
My attention is arrested
By the compelling view outside my window-
A canopy of pine needles
Ivory pearls of dew
Lace the twigs.
The distant impenetrable forest
Is home to the jackals
Who howl long and loud
In the hushed, numbing nights.
In the morning, from my bedroom window
My eyes seek the old steel-blue cathedral.Where
Mother Mary stands beauteously
With her palm raised patiently
To bless all.
My glance drifts across the city of Shillong
Which rises in the upland
Beyond the undulating pine hills.
Afar, are the virgin peaks
In shades of azure and green,
A trail of clouds mushroom and frolic,
Dip and dance
Between the houses
Between the hills
Between the sky and the earth.
And at night,
Life continues in all its complacency
As electric lights glitter and sparkle
More brightly than the faraway stars
Which twinkle dimly and fade away.