Ewes of Kulal

 (The women of Kulal in West India have taken up arms against militants to save their own community, even though the bureaucrats remain apathetic to the community. This is to respect their never-say-die attitude)


Outside desolate kitchens,

Ewes of carping badlands sheep

Trample underbrush on dunes:

Pricks on the smooth sands.


As water from white-collars

Dry up

Just as my pen on tear-sodden pages

Thorn ridden entrails

Of the weaklings

Strew the brambles.


Among the gory thorns

Arises life: a small flower


At the rolling sands

And the striving hooves.


The Scimitars

(This poem is based on the image of the statue of Ma-Durga that re-surfaced at the IISER-K/BCKV Campus-Lake, after having been immersed, probably during Durga Puja. The statue had a couple of arched dhingies, used for fishing, in the vicinity)

Listless arches on meshed waters

Skirted by writhing fish,

Upright and inverted crescents,

Softly kissing the waters,

Like scimitars,

Lying in a pool of blood

Lay ‘neath the bleeding sun,

Up above, over the murky stillness,

Over an imperfect world,

Vestiges of a battle lost.


Bobbing, as to a lullaby

From the heavens she forsook,

Ma Durga, glaring into the skies,

                        Rising, rising, dipping, rising

On muddy eddies

And lost causes.

Bereft of her jewels,

With jutting bamboo, showing

The helpless bobble

Of human constructs.


Mottled leaves on ripples

Near the make-shift Ghat,

Nod to the tidings

Carried by a lazy breeze,

Balmy, stench-ridden

Sifting through the morning mist

Egging on the scimitars,

Ruthless, acute,

Away from hope

Away from supine divinity

Away from Ma.