Five Bags Full

The two bags of namkeens
Were eked out over weeks.
My sister felt bad when I told
Her how treasured they were. I
Thought your suitcase wouldn’t hold
So much, she said, and to buy
More would’ve been a waste!
She speaks, I thought, as if taste
Lies only on the tongue, a matter
Of spices and dough. As though
The heart were not suffused
With the sweetness and salt
Of home. So this time, she bought
Five bags. All that they had
At the store. This time I told her not
To feel bad. How could a heart ask
For more.


“Life Continues”: A Truth

Universally acknowledged. Plants
Can be transplanted to other
Courtyards, other keepers,
Creepers are harder, but arches
Have been known to tether
Pillars of entrances together.
And the earth itself, in sooth,
Defies being cornered, demands
That we arch its latitudes,
North to South, altitudes flying
Across separation. No imaginary
Line is a bar. In consolation,  Life
Continuously cries – Here we are.
A place to be stable. Here,
Where the round flatness prevents
A slipping off, where
The edge is no bar, no table
No morning mug of tea too far.


Flatbeds and Flatrates

They give me a seat at the back 
Almost under the tail
And I think chalo theek hai, waise
Bhi, I’m neither here nor there
I spend my life swooping
In on a wing and a prayer.
They tell me they can upgrade
Me to business class. Flatbed, ma’am
She keeps repeating, shocked I’ve
Decided to pass. Aap toh
Janti hain, I explain, ki iss ek
Upgrade mein I could’ve flown
Twice. Sitting upright all the way
Will have to suffice. Sleep is what
I do at home: ghode bechkar sona.
Coming home is always gold.
Sone par kya rona.