Saturday, 18 November 2017

18th November 2017


Look, what they've done with their concrete and steel:

A seawall that's endless where sea meets shore

In place of the sand beneath sole and heel;

The beaches of Butterworth are no more.



Look, what they've done with their concrete and steel:

A seawall so ugly the eyes are sore

As fat were the wallets that closed the deal;

The beaches of Butterworth are no more.




Look, what they've done with their concrete and steel:

A seawall and not the beaches of yore

Along which we ran barefooted with zeal;

The beaches of Butterworth are no more.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

29th April 2017



I found you in the back lane behind two Sundays ago,
Dumped, I'm guessing, because you were a girl 
Which, unless you were in the cat breeding business,
Was bad news to a cat owner in this part of the world
Just as being born a girl was bad news in India
Although for different reasons, dowry-related, mostly.

No matter.
You were about, what, three months old?
Good.
The moment I saw you, I said to myself, this one I'm keeping for myself.
Why?
Because every cat born in this household for the last ten, nay, twenty years
Either died of something, went missing or, in the case of the boys, left home
And you represented a new hope, a fresh start,
To rebuilding the cat family I once had
And lived for,
Mostly.

Eve,
That's what your name shall be,
For just as the biblical Eve was the mother of all of mankind,
So too shall you be the mother of the new generation of cats born into this family,
By the grace of Almighty God,
Amen.

On second thoughts, make that Hurricane Eve
In accordance with the way you enjoyed dashing about the place
With the strength and energy of a little hurricane.

Monday, 10 April 2017

10th April 2017


Italian Eyes,
In which all of the world's beauty
And all of its pain
Is contained,
Its beauty as reflected in the perfectly sculpted contours of your face,
Its pain as concealed within,
Piercing me with such intensity
That I am mesmerized and troubled and bewildered and wonderstruck,

All at the same time,
Such is your power, 

Such is your magic, 
Such is your magnificence,
Italian Eyes.




[photograph used with permission graciously granted by Anna Clara Passarelli]
 [copyright owner and photograph model]

Saturday, 26 November 2016

29th October 2016

My two boys have left home
As boys were wont to do
Once all grown up were they and boys no more
And like most boys their age
As well as some girls too
Their roots were like old garments they once wore:
Forgotten like the past
And lost somewhere in time
So far back that remembering's a chore.

One loves climbing rooftops,
The other loves to fight
But doesn't mind a cuddle now and then
Unlike the rooftop cat
Who struggles while being kissed
As most boys would before the count of ten
But it wouldn't be so bad
If they did what people do
With telephones or postcards and a pen.


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

14th June 2016

Oh, how my heart doth bleed
To see my two boys fight
To wear the feline crown in this house.

There used to be a time
When they together played
As children growing up in this house.

Oh, how my heart doth bleed
To see my two boys fight
To be the feline king in this house.

There used to be a time
When they together ate
As children growing up in this house.

Oh, how my heart doth bleed
To see my two boys fight
To be the feline boss in this house.

There used to be a time
When they together napped
As children growing up in this house.

Oh, how my heart doth bleed
To see my two boys fight
To be top feline dog in this house.



Friday, 8 April 2016

8th April 2016

Like celebrities updating their Instagram accounts -
Been here, been there, did this, did that -
For the benefit of their legions of adoring fans
Were some of my Facebook friends
Who by the way were mere mortals like you and me
Which really made me wonder:
Did I really need Facebook friends such as them
Who were surely better off hobnobbing with English lords and ladies
While having tea together in a picturesque English garden
Instead of reminding me of how bourgeois my boring existence was
With their city-hopping hotel-swapping Facebook status updates?

Oh, but of course, that's what the 'unfollow' button is for:
To remain Facebook friends with flamboyant socialite types,
To quote an example,
Without having the intimate details of their flamboyant lives
Unsolicitedly shoved in front of your face
Every time you logged in to update your own status
With yet another boring selfie of you and your beloved partner / kid / dog / cat / whatever
And so on.

Now, why didn't I think of that?
Could've saved all the fuss, or venom, spewed out here.








Sunday, 4 October 2015

5th October 2015

Thank you, O Lord, for the rain,
The wonderful rain that dilutes the haze,
The smoky haze that chokes the air,
And helps us breathe a little easier,
The cats included,
The cats who know not the benefits of
respirators in such conditions
But fall sick all the same
Just as we do
From breathing the polluted air
By courtesy of our regional neighbors
That’s now being degraded by the rain
From what it was
To something a lot less polluted
And a lot more breathable
For which we give thee thanks, O Lord,
From the bottom of our hearts,
The cats included.