Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Angel of the Third World

How are you today,
My angel of the Third World?
Has your school boy hair grown to rush
Like the Black Niagara your husband loves?
Do you still wear that fruity fragrance
The only thing I could bare sticking to your skin?
Do you seek me in the books I gifted?
Or do i reside in the forgotten
Whore houses of your memory?
Your nightly rituals of Love
Are colder than the winters we haven't met.
You looked wonderful in the veil
The last time i saw you
Majestic caged tiger.
A third world angel,
Unemployed in God's infirmary.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inside Your Clothes

I want to be inside your clothes tonight
Drop dead like the apple on Newton's head
Pull me down into you,
Away from the overtime shifts
Working in God's toilet.
Hold me like gravity
And hit me like a cyclone meeting a city
Dreaming of a revolution sunrise.
Take away those empty promises,
The Presidential campaign vows
And those cheerleader Wow's.
Protect me tonight,
The Baywatch guards watched me drown last year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Nights outside fenced houses
Refugees in foreign shores
Haggling for food, and for who we are.
Stars they seem alien tonight
The owl cries in a human voice
"Land mines", "Border lines", "My Lands".
As springs are gunned down
In forest highlands
As we count the dimes
For a pocketful of sky.
I was born with lines on my palm
I'll die with Borders in my heart.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Man Who Controls the Mood of the Nation

The past few weeks have been abuzz with the hype surrounding Sachin's century of centuries and the entire cricketing world seems to be obsessed with it. The generally hostile Australian media is showering praises upon the little master, the rowdy, ruthless crowd gives a standing ovation to him every time he walks out to bat, twitter is tweeting, and every cricket expert worth his salt seems to deliberate upon what might be wrong about the great man. Let's not get into statistics here. And neither speculate about when he might get the elusive 100. It will come...But what has already arrived is something more special. This note is about that.
   People living in different time-zones are all up and ready watching Sachin bat. Morning has come early, work can wait. Classes can be sacrificed, meetings can be postponed. Not merely because we are waiting for him to score an academic century. But to appreciate the way he is going about his job. His batsmanship in the Australian series has been almost surreal. Yes, he has shown signs that he is human, going into his shell, and then hesitant at times. And yet, when he has gone about his job, he has made it look effortless. The cricketing arena is the only place where Sachin can be himself. Be free of the pressure, of the craving and the divine worship. He is the slave, carving out his invocation to the Cricketing Gods. And the Gods have been kind to him, and to us.
     Throughout his career, Sachin has been plagued by the debate and the comparison between him and Brian Lara. Lara, to me, is almost the last remnant of the West Indian era gone by, almost a Viv Richards born a millionaire. That arrogance of youth, the nonchalance of too much money. It showed in his cuts and pulls, his frequent disagreements with the Cricket board. Sachin is the Working man industry, a reverent priest dedicating his entire life to the service of the great game. And the Gods have been kind to him, and to us.
      The reason why people of my generation owe a part of our lives and growing up to him is subtly more significant that all the records he has created and destroyed. But because he represents something of the way India has come up, something of the manner in which people growing up in the 90's found their feet. Here was someone, who could go all out, keeping the field restrictions and the then 15 over rule. Today's youngsters who cry and crave for the hitting skills of Dhoni and Warner have missed the look of terror on the faces of bowlers marking their run-up, walking up to Sachin. Careers have come to an end, Captains have resigned. And here we have cheered, because someone broke the shackles of a timidly glowing self-belief and stamped his authority on the world. Gone were the days of Gavaskar, grafting out a century. Here was Sachin, smashing his way to making a statement. We went to work with our head held sky- high, exam fever was faced with the belief, that if Sachin could tackle Perth, Auckland, then so could we, calculus and the rubbing down of our bosses. The morning after a Sachin century, the sun was brighter, newspapers came up with epic headlines, classrooms were fish-markets, and people fought less inside public buses during office hours..His fall was our fall..when he raised his arms and opened his helmet, he was a warrior, fighting a war for us. An injustice against him was an injustice against the whole race.
     Oh Sachin, you have made us weep tears of Joy. You made us discover new superstitions, made us choose you over our wives and girlfriends and made us come up with new excuses for playing truant. You have made ardent cricket admirers of grandmothers, made the whole of India pray in unison. India lacks an emblem which brings the country together, even VANDE MATARAM seems to be politically loaded and communally sensitive. Not you...You have been our national anthem. Our national symbol. Our adrenaline. Make us wake up early mornings. Make us sleep late at nights...100 is just another number...