Saturday, April 30, 2016


In the past few years
I've fallen less in love
I've liked fewer people
Fewer things
I've had less patience
Less tolerance
I've lost more faith in people

I've met few people
I've let go of more
I've like few people
I've disliked just too many

Some I believed to be good
But later learnt weren't the best
Most I've never liked from the start

And is this part of growing up
Becoming an adult
Because they tell you that
The older you are
The more you know
But it seems like
The older I get
The more bitter I am

Friday, April 8, 2016

She made a wish

She was five when Athamma told her about kingfishers
And how they are messengers of the wish granting factory
That was in a faraway land but would always find time
To make her wishes come true
So she waited and waited, hoping to see a kingfisher take flight
Because a wish made at that exact moment was guaranteed to
Reach the factory and the kind factory-workers
But not a single kingfisher budged from the power cables while she watched

She was eight when she was told about birthday wishes
The cake was a butter cake; too hard, too stale
No icing on it to hide its dark brown, burnt face
On it, in the middle, a white candle
Not the thin, striped ones usually on birthday cakes
But thick and heavy, saved for power cuts
And she was told to secretly make a wish
Right as she blew away the flame
And as she cut the cake with the same knife used to cut vegetables
She made a second wish hoping her first would come true

She was thirteen when she was told about eyelashes
And even though the kingfisher and birthday candles had failed her
She still had hope in the way only the desperate can have
And so her eyes lit when he held the eyelash on his finger
After it had gently landed on her cheek
Closing her eyes, she made a wish
And hoped this time the factory would receive it
And then she felt his lips on hers
And she surrendered knowing her wishes won’t be heard

She was eighteen when she was told of the fortune
Brought to her by her little bundle of joy
As she lay on the dirty hospital bed
They asked her to think of a name for her child
She was too young to know any better
And even though every inch of her body still ached
She saw all the wishes that could be granted
Through the tiny baby in her arms
And when the wishes went ungranted
She blamed her baby’s loud wails that may have silenced them

She was twenty six when she was given the coin
It was made the same year as she was born
She hid it in a rose pink handkerchief
Tucked into the blouse she wore
And prayed she didn’t lose it somehow
Whenever she wanted something to believe in
Whenever she couldn’t love her child enough
She touched the coin hidden in her blouse
So close to her heart, so close, yet so far

She was thirty two when he told her about rainbows
As they watched a film on the old television
In a hotel room that didn’t cost too much
His clothes on the floor, hers folded on a chair
She felt his hand comb through her hair
And then continue its journey down her back
He told her to make a wish
But she reminded him the rainbow wasn’t real
Nothing is, he said and smiled
And then pushed her onto the bed again

She was forty four when she noticed the time was 11.11
And she remembered to make a wish
So she closed her eyes, feeling like a child
Giggled even, as she made her wish
Her daughter interrupted her before she could finish
And so she knew that wish wouldn’t come true either
Taking her grandson from his mother’s arms
She walked to the kitchen to feed him some rice
And just as she wondered if wishes ever come true
She felt her grandson’s teeth cut through her skin
A sigh from the wish granting factory, maybe
She thought as she nursed her wound

She was fifty nine when she was told about the full moon
It was Vesak, she remembered
He was almost still a child
He didn’t even notice her
She lay on the cool cement pavement
Hoping the police wouldn’t chase her away
People with ice cream cones in there hands
Walked away from the annual dansala
He held hands with a pretty girl his age
Said to her, ‘make a wish’
And she told him her only wish had come true
Smiling shyly at him
And as they walked away from her
She looked up at the golden moon
Her eyes too weak to see the hare living on it
And she wished a wish so small
Not even the gods could hear it

She was sixty seven when they took her
To the well that was believed to have magical powers
Make a wish and have it come true
The man selling tickets priced at twenty rupees told her
Crushing her ticket in her hand, she walked up to the small well
Pushing through the people around it, she peered in to see the dark black water
Closing her eyes for a moment
She whispered to the well her wish
But it didn’t seem to hear her
Amid all the wish-makers around it

She was seventy two and in pain
She could see the sky through the open windows
A cool wind blew in, making her shiver
But she didn’t have the strength to pull the bed sheet closer
A young man in a white uniform
Came to close the window near her
She lifted her arm to stop him but he only saw her
After the window was shut and curtains drawn
Were you looking at the night sky?
He asked, and she nodded the faintest nod
But smiled her last smile when he said
Wishing upon the stars perhaps
But what’s the use if no one listens?

Saturday, April 2, 2016


It's all bullshit, isn't it?Our values and morals
Just plain old bullshit

Men in golden robes
They call themselves the Sangha
And yet, curse and swear
Forgetting the Dhamma

A friend tells me what a bitch another is
Such a cheat, so shameless and I wonder
Where her anger goes as she
Hugs the other and exchanges compliments

The author speaks at a book launch
Of another and says how great the new book is
But once home, safe from the world
He posts on Facebook that the book deserves no shelf space

He talks about how great a human he is; ethics and decency
And he tightens his tie, as if  reminding himself of his other virtues
But then he forgets everything he preaches as he gives his staff so much work
They can't even leave at six

She calls herself a feminist and fights against injustice
She calls men the evil monsters that walk among us
But she forgets the magical word of equality as she keeps quiet
When men are objectified just the way women are