you’ve been warned

because i’m just another me
looking for one momentary
fragment of a dream,
a story whose seams
are always frayed; words faded,
reactions at best jaded.

because i’m not a cool photo
or a cigarette
burning away unnoticed.
i’m a blaze
and i shall take you with me.
you’ve been warned.

Originally written March 28, 2012, trying to tell someone who was falling for me (and who I had fallen for already) that she might be making a mistake. Well, I guess at least she realised her mistake somewhere down the line.


trace out a road between us
with the colours of fall
and the leaves underfoot,
parting footsteps late
in the afternoon.

trace out midnight skies
and the blue black points
of time rushing in from
a million miles away
past your eyes in into sleep.

trace out stories in glances
and losing and finding and
remembering strangers
as they slip out of one skin
and into another. call it
what you will, or don’t.

you are now red and black
stretched across fingertips
hushing lips from saying
words that will lose color
on paper or in sound.

the words are quiet now,
but can you trace out
the midnight tune beneath
its pressed folds?
can you trace me another smile?

walk on by

put on your midnight stars
and your well worn in stories
and walk with me once more
so that your footsteps of sand
with wavy ebbs
and your sun-speckled smiles
shine on every memory
of us that i can then
and put away behind the scent
of dog eared books and
mothball linen and other
things in dusty dark corners to be
forgotten and
let their sheen be hid
under blankets of patchwork stories
so that there be
no footsteps ahead of me
and i can leave behind this
thread of starshine and
just walk on by.

inspired in part by Bryan Adams’s song by the same name and tinged with my usual melancholy.


Caught in a maelstrom of emotions
Held back by taut words
In the familiar company
Of a familiar stranger
I see beads of water drip
Down the sides of our glass
Like reason sliding off words
Which have tasted blood.

And faces contort in ways
Sending shivers down my spine
Because here comes the killing blow
The sweeping gesture of finality
Woven using judgemental syllables
With strings of papercuts down
Our skin while ink marks of dignity
Hang by the skin of our teeth.

We fight proxy wars unbeknownst
To each other in our minds and hearts
Because we’ll be okay that way won’t we
We can be strangers that way again.

Can’t we?

Dear Mumbai

for four years, I have called you home.
my roots might lie elsewhere,
but here i learnt to fly.
here i learnt to never compromise on the things which matter,
or the people who do.
here i fell in love, again and again,
and patched up heartbreak with lyric and rain.

i’ve navigated your shadows,
sung your songs,
written poems for your seas and for your twilight.
i’ve seen night turn to day
through spirit stained glasses.
walked lanes and bylanes
through wafting smells of food
and the chorus of hundreds of voices
singing the same song
in different languages
using different words.
i’ve died and lived here so many times
i have lost count.

you have been my co-conspirator,
my muse, my riotous palette;
my symphony and my cacophony.
you’ve accepted my darkness and my light
my kinks and foibles
my love and my other demons.

friends and lovers,
sea-spray and laughter.
rains and dusks,
trains and shadows.
dregs of dreams
distilled in alcohol
as poems, songs we forget.
you shall be missed.
see you around. 🙂

Photo by the superb Aneel Neupane. Check out more of his work here

Stranger Land – part II

Yellow green ochre brown
laying a silent trail
to the crown where
the air meets the sky.
The thunder and rainkiss
before the mirrorlake ripples
to the dreams of clouds
with a bit of coffee smoke
mixed up in it on the way down.

Later, as the sun sets over rainbow puddles
on patchwork cobblestones
the tiny boats huddle together
to trade stories of the day’s adventures
and other such mundane things,
And as the trinkets in shops go
softly out of focus at dusk,
we leave our reflections behind
in the lake and breathe deep
the memories wafting out as
graffiti and smoke and melody.
Hold in a bit of this stranger land forever.
This way, every tale from now on
will be of Adventure
and other such mundane things.

stranger land – part I

Patchwork cobblestone roads
colours and lights and prisms
of goldenhued footsteps
and smiles of deep blue skies
with a chance of rain.
Courts of pigeons in flight
from everyday mundane
leaving momentary fairytales
in their wake. Nobody notices but
Tunes from bylanes and smoke in
the rooms between songs flow even
as out of focus raindrops and
crystal hues peek through windows.
This city is a morningdew song.


I don’t need perfect, for
perfect is a dead end which will never
start another story, another road.
i want where winding roads begin
and meet; with hot coffee and mittens,
dusks like a carpet across the sky, and
patchy moonlight for weary feet.

I don’t need smooth and shiny,
i want jagged edges which reflect glints of rainbows
and leave marks on the soul and spark fires
behind eyes; i want timeworn pebbles
which flow down fingers like water.
i don’t want a lay; a hummed lullaby would do,
carrying blissful sleep across the waves.

i don’t need happy endings, as long as
there is someone to share the journey with.
i don’t need a destination; aimless walks
with strangers under stars suit me just fine.
i don’t want perfect, for it isn’t a beginning.
i want to blaze bright and not know as
the dice roll; i’m lost, and i’d rather not be found.

Photo by the superb Aneel Neupane. Check out more of his work here