The Kabul Night…

I was in the darkest of my days
lost and lonely
adrift within my bed.

Full was the moon.

The snow…

This was another Kabul night.

The gas heater hardly kept me warm as I slept
Shivering as I was in the merciless winter cold
I was in a deep dreamless sleep
when death knocked upon my door.

Poison began to fill my lungs.
I was breathing heavy and sinking deep
drugged and dragged by death’s steely touch.

It could have been a painless end
but something happened that very instant
Was it a voice that called my name?
Was it a hand that shook me up?

My head was numb as I opened my eyes
The walls spun in the moon light
My throat was dry
I choked and coughed
I could not shout for help.

I felt like sliding into an abysmal hole
Did I wake up only to see it end?

My thoughts failed as I raised my face
to receive the final fateful punch
when suddenly a voice screamed inside my head
“run, Run, Run”….

And I ran.

I opened my door
dashed down the stairs
and all I remember was knocking on a door.

A day later
when I came around
I was pale and alive in a hospital bed.

Whenever I think of that fateful night
I remember the hand
I remember the voice
I thank the One who watched over me
Even in the darkest of my days.


Brainwaves: digital art by ashok

Brainwaves: digital art by ashok

[This was a real life – near death experience I had in December 2004. I was stationed in Kabul , Afghanistan after the war . Those were dark days without electricity and we had to depend on Propane Gas heaters as temperatures dropped below zero. One fateful night, my heater leaked and the poisonous gas filled the room. Usually, it’s a slow death for a sleeping person. But miraculously I managed to wake up and run out before I collapsed in front of another inmates door. I was rushed to the army hospital and rescued.]

The Tree…

The lonely tree stands proud
above a carpet of flowers on fire
The leaves shiver as the noisy breeze
filters through them in a gusto waft

The gathering clouds on the grey sky
signal the impending monsoon rain
The birds struggle against the wind
to scamper back to their tree and nest

I stand and stare at this picture frame
as Natures’ everyday story unfolds
A dark heaviness descends within
at the thought of the imminent times

Concrete and steel will devour the green
smoke and stink will steal the scene
A paradise that soon will be
prey to man’s hunger and greed

I stand in shame before the tree
a helpless pawn in this heartless game
I feel a rain drop on my face
I feel a tear drop in my mind

To & Fro…

His Pendulum swings
To and fro
My eyeballs swing along
“Focus” says
his steady voice
But my mind is on a song…

I’ve learnt the trick
To stay awake
And dream with open eyes…
The peace within
A paradise
Away from the maddening noise

In a spell
I hear the piper’s call
A glide away from pain
Scattered thoughts
Careless knots
Untied and tied again…

I shroud myself
In the umbra black
The light a distant dot
In trance I drown
Into the abysmal hole…
Isn’t Life but a dreamy plot… ?

He can try
As long as he wants
But he’ll never see my wings!
To and fro
To and fro
In vain his pendulum swings…


The Paper Heart…

On the floor lies
A forgotten heart
A crumpled tissue
Used and discarded

I take it in my hand
Straighten the wrinkles
Scribbled all over
A tale Blotted with

I tear it to bits
And throw it up
The wind carries off
As I walk on…

The Night…

Am I sleeping?
Or still awake?
What time of night is this?
A heavy load
Is on my chest
I gasp, I breathe heavy
The darkness
and the distant light
Is this but a dream?
The silence outside
Grave within
Should I sprint or scream?
My legs are firmly
On the ground
Yet the floor I do not feel
Something’s coming
From behind
I am scared to turn around
I want to reach
The light In front
I can barely move my feet
Cold and numb
In quandary now
Should I wake or go to sleep?

Happy Pongal…

Along the Temple wall
A farmer sits all day
With Sugarcane so sweet
Yet, none to buy at all
With sadness in his eye
He looks at every passerby
As If to ponder why-
Why none stop to buy?

The festival that he knew
The overflowing pot
The overflowing joy
And a beginning new
are just delusions now
A hopeless holy cow
A future bleak, unsure
With a pointless plough

Times are changing fast
Fresh shoots forget the roots
The meanings that he knew
are figments of the past
The generation of today
Behind burgers, buns & fries
Realize not the bliss
Of Nature’s simple way

Pongal will remain
Another holiday forever
In memories so sweet
Like his unsold sugarcane
Next year he might have
To a builder sold his land
Then sit by the Temple and laugh
At what we’ll never have…