Sunday, November 30, 2008


Majestic splendor,
A metaphor for opulence and power
Yet it arose as a symbol
Of resistance, of revolution
Of refusal to bow down

You stand upright with pride
Staring at the imposing brown stoned structure
That symbolized imperialism
You mock aloud, that she is but, just a mere gate
Into your hallowed hallway

A testimony to change
As hard as stone, but warm and mellow inside
Large heartedly welcoming guests
With hospitality that makes us proud
Then you got stabbed in your back

Your cry was heard the world over
A cry of betrayal, treachery, mind-numbing brutality
You bore the suffering without a word
Resisted the wounds and burns inflicted on you
Let yourself be raped by hallucinating ruthless vagabonds

The stains of innocent blood will be washed away
Not by the sea you stare at everyday
But the efforts of brave men and women alike
Who will stand up and retaliate, I hope and pray
And not let bygones be bygones anymore

Oh beloved Taj, like your older namesake
You are pristine in your loyalty and untouched in your innocence
Even after the massacre, you stand unshaken
As if inspiringly exhorting us mere citizens
To remember the sacrifices of our brave brothers
To remember the splattering of blood on your walls
To remember the shattering of your glass panes
The plumes of fire bellowing away from your crown
You inspire us to stand tall and unshaken
In the face of wrath, anguish and pain
To be less aggrieved and take more action
But do we have the strength to do so, ask I of us…

Saturday, November 29, 2008


This might seem redundant - to beat my chest and cry aloud for what is happening to my beloved Mumbai, my city, my home. I have always been asked what community I belong to - and people are always surprised to know that I am a Tamilian. (Apparently, I look like anything but a Tam). I am not bragging, but I have always claimed to be a Bombayite at heart and a Mumbaikar for political correctness. I identify more with the cultural bhelpuri that Mumbai is a moniker, a metaphor for, than with my Tamilian roots. Make no mistake, I am not denouncing my roots - I am very proud of it. Yet, if I were to choose, I would choose the city of my childhood, the city that gave me everything I have today - the city that shaped my dreams.

And today, my home is burning. With rage, with shock, with sentiment, with grief, with red tears that stain its structures in the false hope that the sea, betrayed by treachery, will wash them away.

I am oceans away from home, yet my grief is no less and the pain is palpable even in this cold town I live in.

My questions might seem redundant, boring, oft-repeated. But as Mumbai's child, as a stakeholder, as someone whose home was invaded, ransacked and whose home survived an attempt to reduce its structure and fabric to rubble, I demand answers to my questions - NOT BECAUSE IT'S MY CITY, BUT BECAUSE IT'S MY COUNTRY:

1) How can the home minister of the state have the sheer audacity to relegate these horrific incidents to be termed as "small" incidents that Mumbai is now used to? Does he have a heart? Does he have a brain? Does he have eyes? Does he have any sense?
He hails from a small town unaccustomed to the terror that Mumbai has seen in the last 15 years. He came with a baggage of small-town mentality that was focussed more on shutting down dance bars (as if they were terrorising the city) and forgets that as the Home Minister, it is his duty to ensure REAL EFFECTIVE EFFICACIOUS BULLET-PROOF JACKETS TO ATLEAST THE ANTI-TERRORIST SQUAD. It's a no-brainer situation to me. He sits in a plush bungalow surrounded by commandos who ought to have been protecting innocent citizens, but were forced to protect this insignificant insensitive man as a call of duty. Will someone at least slap him?

2) WILL PEOPLE PLEASE STOP BRAGGING ABOUT MUMBAI'S RESILIENCE? There is a limit to how much you can falsely hype our helplessness for resilience and use it as an escape into amnesia. Does anyone remember the lives lost in the July 2005 floods - where is the promise to clean the Mithi River? A 2001 report had pointed out the failure of intelligence activities on the Indian coastline - the primary route for terrorists in the the 1993 Blasts and the 2008 Massacre in my home. How many years and how many more lives before you sitting in that high and mighty chair will decide to do something about it? Don't politicians at least have a collective conscience that reverberates into action for national security consciousness?

3) WILL SOMEONE INVEST IN THE POLICE FORCE OF MUMBAI? PLEASE. It is no joke that the city falls prey to terrorism time and again. If it is not suffering from chilling spineless ruthlessness and cowardice of terrorism, it is held to ransom by the mindless bloodshed by the underworld, or just the gimmickry of cranky politicians greedy for print space.

4) Will the responsible politicians please step down? I DEMAND THE RESIGNATION OF VILASRAO DESHMUKH, R R PATIL & SHIVRAJ PATIL.

5) WIll AFZAL GURU PLEASE BE HANGED - ATLEAST NOW? (Yes, I absolutely support capital punishment for the devil incarnate).

I am seething with anger, I am pained with the grief, I am scared for my people. We have been taken for granted for too long. It is payback time - to give Mumbai its due and not leave it to bleed each time in the false hope that resilience will bandage its wounds and the need to survive will nurse it to normalcy. Enough is enough.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Never alone

I am never alone in this crowd
It’s never quiet, there’s always a shout aloud
Yet loner they call me, so it be
The silent noises wafting seamlessly

Lonely I walk, but am not alone
Stalking me is my past soul
It’s funny that my alter ego talks in a guy’s baritone
If he comes alive, he better be handsome and toned

They talk to me, I stare at them
Wondering if they said something now
It’s queer to ask them to repeat their lines
Once, twice, thrice; but then how many times?

It feels so weird, so many voices
When it’s just two of us debating the choices
Physically I might look like two
But now my mental twin is trapped in my body too

AAAAAA I wish I could scream
I stuff the pillow on my face screen
To stifle the cry, and deafen the noise
But their sounds penetrate them even otherwise.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Twas’ a dull dark morning, the sun unlit
I was walking fast when I saw it
A vision bright, blinding light
I was alone then as I was in the enlightenment
It seemed like I needed none
But without them, it wouldn’t be so much fun

My life was not incomplete without them thus far
But now for them I hold my heart’s door ajar
They’re there to hold me when I twist, sprain and fall
They laugh at me, for me, with me and that’s them my friends I call
Come share my madness, my dreams, my fears I beseech
Never do my pleas go unheard, but so also never do they preach

They’re my loved ones in a new world unknown
I lead the way, tread carefully in the know
That beside, behind and in front of me they will be
And they will always love me. :)