Thursday, 7 October 2010


I had a dream today, I'll tell you about that.
I want to go up the hills again, I'm tired of lands flat.
The hills are high and clean and cold, and they are very nice.
In case you want a cooler drink, you have lots of ice.

The roads wind up and down the mountains in ways totally devious,
And flatland drivers sulk so much on wasted experience previous.
The hairpin bends are a real pain, especially in the morn.
When the air is foggy, the windscreen soggy, so please honk your horn.

In hills untraced, with roads braced, a hotel built at great height
Might prove lucrative in times unseen, but only with foresight.
The flow of travellers in the first few seasons might seem like a trickle,
But one might also turn successful, with help from chance fickle.

A good chef in the kitchen is one sure formula
To attract to the hotel guests, and to the cashbox moolah.
Keep a spacious terrace or two, and a nicely trimmed lawn,
Guests'll gather together there to watch sunrise at dawn.
Among other things, efficiency in service is a keeper.
(A small tip: People prefer hotels that are cheaper!)

Anyway, this dream of mine isn't castle-in-the-air.
After a prime well-spent, I'd like to sit idly in a chair -
Maybe read my favourites, or listen to a tune,
(I hope you'll pardon me for dreaming big so soon.)
Might even invite friends that I've gathered across years,
Sit together around a fire and share laughs and tears.
Y'see, life in the cities involves so many tricks,
I'd want to be left alone when I've had my fix.

On pleasant wintry evenings, I'll sometimes take a walk.
When there's languor in the hilly air, and also in the clock.
So if I ever meet you on one of those lonely routes,
You're welcome as ever to my place to warm your frozen boots.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Face/off: Prose and verse

If you consider them in their own places,
I think both of these have good cases.
In fact, a neutral observer should
See that both of them are good!

Poetry has its own norm,
Rhyme and rhythm are its form.
Prose, on the other hand,
Is easier to understand.

Consider for a while,
(No doubt with a wry smile)
A defendant standing before court,
And presenting in defence quote
After quote of lucid rhyme.
The judge loses sense of time,
And, next in line, logic.
(You see, the judge in question is a failed poet.
And the defendant seems to know it.)
Which only makes the verdict tragic -
The defendant did commit a crime,
He killed a poet past his prime.

Consider a surgeon removing a tumour.
He asks the nurse
In perfect verse
To pass the roll of bandage.
With the unfortunate disadvantage
That he laughs out in great humour,
Which makes his hands shake and swerve.
And the patient has a bruised nerve.

Also think of such a case.
A general in an army base
Briefing his men of their mission.
With great pride, he narrates his vision
Of defending his territory and doing his country proud.
Then he takes the fatal step, he lets emotions shroud
The driving energy of his speech, and the crowd
Follows suit. They cry out loud
As the general slips into lucid rhyme.
All the while, through mud and grime
Enemy soldiers reach the base.
Which now stands a desolate place.

As you see, even as I admire
Verse, consequences dire
Might result from the victory
Of rhymed and rhythmic poetry.

Written as a riposte to K-da's note.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rhymes: For a few dimes more...

On the Uncommon Wealth Games:
What happened: I posted a BBC link containing embarrassing photos of the games village. Sudhang posted that conditions have improved since then, that inspite of mismanagement and corruption Delhi has drastically improved after many years. What might have been a debate got heated, and Sudhang said that he didn't want to continue the argument anymore. What follows is the poetic conclusion.

I bade thee adieu.
And though you're mistaken
I remain unshaken;
I shan't start the conversation anew.
Since you insist so much,
I'll admit it as such.
Whatever I say
Doesn't change shit.
Why not call it a day,
And from this argument quit?

Why annoy a friend,
As I chase till the end
What has already been said?!
(Besides) For this, I'm not even paid.

You might be true.
And then I might rue
That I lost a good pal.
Can we meet up when you next come to Cal?

(The last line is, of course, my signature way of ending a rhyme on an irrelevant note.)

Double class: viewed through a looking glass
What happened: I was sitting in a double-period, a continuous drawl that went on for two hours. The experience of it.

Juggling words in weariness,
Trying to escape the dreariness
Of listening to a boorish teacher.
Grown tired of this babbling creature.
Time moves in a slow, languid manner,
Which, needless to say, throws a spanner
To my plans of having a good day,
And, while the sun shines, make hay.
All of that, I think, now goes haywire
As this man tries his best to tire
Each and everyone of us out.
Well, that's what this poem is about!

Among the various replies accumulated in the Facebook note, K-da was the only one pitching in with rhyme.

The world of verse,
Whether pompous or terse,
Would be my forte.
'Twas a settlement reached out of court!

A small patch of grass,
Where I’ll lamely graze like the lethargic ass,
No shepherd to lord over me.
A quiet day after a full tummy!

Ambling across the lakes and leas,
A smug smile to wear,
Churning the rhymes in perfect bliss,
Ouch! the smile droops to a fear!

Who’s he? ah! no one, a small boy,
Want to learn something, ahoy!
Pithy verses, laced with wit.
Come-on, I’ll stand that little bit!

But oh! The boy or an angel coming to age,
With words and rhythm, rivaling the sage,
The good old days of the ruminant, gone!
Now it specializes in “chorbito chorbon”!

The last two words in Bengali roughly translate to "chewing what has been chewed" (I'm ignoring the implication that I might be a cow). Now I had to reply in verse, of course. Otherwise the whole fun would've gone. Came up with two.

In matters of wordplay and wit,
There are few who can quite hit
The levels of mastery you show.
That's something all of us know!

With words, you have a flair
(That) I'd be too happy to share.
But, of course, that's a wild dream!
Poetry comes slow, as ream upon ream
Of virtual paper is wasted.
And then some sort of success tasted.

So cheer up, and have a beer.
You're still the pioneer!
(Oh, assuming you like to drink!
If not, take it with a wink.)

Your verses still shine,
They're better than mine.
And if one is just short of divine,
Add a little polish and refine.
I'm sure that'll make it fine.
Oh damn, I can't write one more rhyming line!

Me, again:
An angel? Oh dear!
With every praise you gear
Towards hyperbole.
My insignificant role
Of a humourous prole
You send down the greatness-hole!

I much prefer to be the boy,
Who with his humour-sarcasm alloy,
Tears things down to bits:
From boring teachers to pop-hermits!
(I mean the celeb Guru of Yoga,
The one with stone-eye and saffron toga.)

Amusement is the only aim
And if, by chance, a little fame
Does stride up to me,
Who'm I to set it free?
And if someone does learn a slice
Wouldn't it be very nice?

But don't mourn the ruminant gone.
From its ashes, a cynic born
Shares his lop-sided worldview.
He sees the world with eyes anew.

To be honest, the ruminant was boring.
As he talked you could hear the snoring
Of those around him.
So he'd turn grim
And morose.
But then, he chose
To abandon prose.
(A chapter-close.)

What happened: This was spurred by the verbal portrait of me that Basu-da drew, while in conversation. I started with the intention of exaggerating his words. But in place of the archetypal hardboiled cynic, I ended up with the man I was modelling the poem on.
On his forehead, a deep frown.
A compulsive loner in tinseltown.
His utterances bitter, sardonic,
While he gulps down a gin and tonic.
Cool, steely, suave and smart,
Who's he but Humphrey Bogart?

First Crush:
Somebody wrote, "Experiencing my first crush".
Dude, I just hope you're not having your first brush
With compressive load!
#Joking civil-engg. mode

Random wisecrack on seeing someone's facebook status. Contains mild geek-humour, and complete irreverence for emotions. Be warned! Also, hashtags are wonderful, aren't they?

P.S.: Second roundup of facebook verses. Part 1 here.