Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A tableau

The empty house stands right there,
still locked, blue, and bleak.
Just as it has for ages, now, 
earning not as much as a glance.
Today it giggled, shrieking with mirth,
tickling itself, shrugging off dust,
mocking at me, whispering of a night,
when it burst bizarrely into life,
getting to play a sudden voyeur,
partner in crime, his and mine,
as he loitered down my lonely lane;
It was those steps he chose to adorn;
on those walls leaned his lanky frame;
blazing eyes lighted mine,
bleached walls borrowing our shine;
sweet notes hurriedly sung,
wound into creepers on window rungs;
smiles and kisses of rich baritone
spilled over, drenching my ears,
planting themselves onto every crevice;
spring bloomed out of the blue,
on that dull, dreary, and battered porch,
on a cold, dry, and wintry night,
leaving the old house, forever changed,
just for this stealthy pair of eyes

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Pieces of me lay scattered around,
butchered and minced by a day just gone.
A day that swept into a demonic night
One I clung to for dear life;
It just died a pitiful death,
leaving me aghast, agonizingly alive
Before I knew it, there's another,
a new and glorious day in its place,
born stealthily as every other day,
only this is so beautiful,
one that's come to devour me whole.
The sun's benign, trees make love,
a breeze wafts through,
so cool and blue;
A lonely crow sits and chirps
atop the tree that it calls its own;
This is the day I want to leave,
And leave soon, before it does.

The debt

It's only a bit of soul
you let free in the wild,
to live all your dreams
die for a few, may be
feed on toxins, sweet and sour
it's only that teeny bit
you could well afford it,
lose it in the dark alley,
turn your back on it,
pretend it's not yours
but it sits there yonder,
with bloodshot eyes,
feeding on your neglect,
never to rest,
shrieking the most,
on the quietest of nights
haunting you now, then, and forever


Disown with abandon what you love;
Drop it within your brimming heart.
Sinking deep, let it show its worth,
or staying afloat, be skimmed away.
Care not to grasp, or even hold,
for the teeniest touch distorts the truth!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Spring cleaning

I stay up all night
owing to myself
to exterminate before dawn,
to the last single lie 
that the night keeps whispering;
so I can handover
a pristine morn
to the first bird that chirps;
there aren't many nights left,
contrary to the lies,

which keep breeding in multitudes
I am tired, exhausted, and sick,

that the best I shall have to give,
could only be a well-worn mop 
with an unfinished task...

Friday, November 06, 2015

A funeral

Slowly and surely,
you killed it mercilessly.
That which you planted,
and we nurtured with bared souls;
'twas a most painful death;
I stood there shocked;
- a gruesome horror to behold.
Helpless, I did all I could, in vain;
It breathed its last as you left its side
I dug the grave, calling out for you;
you replied with long silences.
I said my prayers with a throbbing heart;
you answered with your sinful smirks.
'Lay some flowers' - I implored you;
you stamped the ones even I had laid.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A house on fire

The house is on fire;
a sudden raging, raving fire!
the tongues teasing you most cruelly,
raring to devour you once and for all!
struck with shock and grief,
your feet are glued firmly to the ground,
you knew was once dearly yours;
the earth underneath now giving way,
crumbling, ready to suck you into oblivion;
there's no way you can save the house,
no way you can stop its end;
so shut your eyes and flee, don't bother to pack,
lest gruesome ravages start filling the eye;
tarnishing every single beauty of the past.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The drama unfolds; ,
Act after act,
Scene by scene;
Players exhibting their genius' best
Acting out their own nemesis

The Rink

The ice breaks, 
beneath the blades,
just so she slides and glides; 
Never too long to sink deep,
nor to risk a fatal fall, steep;
It melts right down,
for a momentary trance,
freezing right back
as she blithely moves on.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I (can't) see Red!

Green veins of your fore arms,
Deep browns of your searching gaze,
The blues I get when I miss you;
You colour my fading youth
with every hue possible;
To paint my pale cheeks a faint red,
you ask a bit of my own heart's blood!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The zombie

A zombie walks this earth all day,
doing a little of this, and a little of that;
Waiting until night, night after night,
for the soul to come and re-unite

in the light of day,
spades dig out the corpse;
Clockwork makes the zombie go;
its hungry soul lurks beneath,
hoping for the dark,

waiting for its night.

The stillness on the surface
had me hoodwinked;
No mirage for sure, as I drank deeply,
Bewitched by the magic waters..
Not daring a plunge, too sure of drowning!
an inane wish growing for the same,
A fit of impulse, and I dive headlong;
Lucky to be still alive,
with a broken skull and all!

Bone-wracking hugs are kind
Kisses that draw blood, kinder
Smiles and handshakes, not too much can be had,
Even cold shrugs, never too bad
Be wary of, definitely watch out for
Gentle fingers stroking your temples,
Innocuous arms, slipping into yours,
with feather-like strokes, rendering goosebumps,
Only to pluck it right out of your chest,
walk away, and bleed you to death!

Friday, July 31, 2015


I'm topsy turvy, blame him, not me;
His music has been sheer Alchemy!
A mere earthling, I crave the deity;
With nothing to offer but love in bounty!

Monday, July 27, 2015

T M Krishna's interview in Vikatan

T M Krishna’s recent announcement about boycotting the December season concerts has elicited diverse reactions. While ‘Sabha’ organizers see this as nothing more than his latest stunt, his devoted fan following perceive it as their rebellious idol’s next avatar.

What does Krishna have to say?
I am not against singing in Sabhas altogether, but only during the ‘Markazhi’ season. I will be singing in sabhas and elsewhere for the rest of the 11 months. This is a decision driven by several factors. Couple of decades ago, Carnatic music concerts flourished all through the year to a jam-packed audience. The December season festivities were but a culmination of the year-long accomplishments of the Carnatic musicians. In the present day, though, concerts do not happen except during the last month of the year, the reason simply being, reduced footfall. This has led to an increased competitiveness among musicians to procure slots during the season, which I deem amiss.
One particular season, I chose not to sing. I enjoyed attending and listening to all other musicians’ concerts. So that impelled me to propose that my concerts not be ticketed.  It’s an arduous task, getting tickets during the season, more so for the middle class. I wanted to alleviate that to the best of my ability. Pondering further, I decided not to get tangled in the seasonal traffic anymore.

What makes you believe that a single individual’s decision can change the system?
I believe this can be a beginning for the change we expect to see. With the risk of being accused of making false allegations, I shall state that it is not uncommon practice that slots are being bought for money, seriously hampering the performing chances of those sincerely committed to the art. The racket of corruption prevalent in the sabhas causes me utter disquiet.  I too am aware of what sells on-stage, and haven’t been a stranger to such tricks, in the past. I have embarked on a self-correcting path, as I now realize that art ought not to be thus commoditized.

You ventured a concert in a ‘kuppam’ (fisher people region) with the idea of bringing Carnatic music out to public. How significant were your efforts on that end?
Last year, we conducted concerts at Urur Olcott Kuppam, adjacent to Besant nagar, Chennai. Not so well-versed about fisher people’s culture and what they’d like, we included Villuppattu, Thappattam, Koothu, and Bharathanatyam in the agenda, as a safe bet. The event drew positive response from not only the residents of the kuppam, but also the general public, at large. Regular sabha-goers attended too. Therefore, the event served as a confluence for people from all walks of life. It was certainly a beginning of sorts. I can safely say that if not anything great, the event clearly brought art music closer to people.

How did the residents of Kuppam respond to Carnatic music?
Oh, they certainly enjoyed it; with what would you measure that? I, for instance, immensely enjoyed Koothu; but I could not make out its various nuances. So I’d say that the people enjoyed Carnatic music displaying the same blithe wonderment that I did watching Koothu. The more people listen to Carnatic music, the more they would be able to understand, appreciate, and enjoy it. All we need to do is stop confining it within the walls of sabhas and work on rendering it freely accessible.

Some have no qualms admitting you are their most loved musician, but for your communist ideologies. Your thoughts on that?
I am not a communist. I don’t agree totally with that philosophy. I only ask you to empathize with my voice, both literally and figuratively, pretty much the way you do when I sing!

Whom do you recognize as the most promising singer in today’s generation?
One Mr. Ramakrishna Moorthy has captured my interest. He is a no-nonsense musician with deep focus in singing. I believe he has bright prospects for a successful musical career.

There is a dent in our educational curriculum to learn Carnatic music. Do you think you could do something about it?
I wish to make something clear here. Music is not that easily learnt. It is a tedious task requiring much focus, effort, and hard work. However, the current practices can be streamlined for effective learning, for which groundwork is underway. Please give me some time!

What is your take on the reality music shows on television channels? Do you think they contribute positively to music?
I don’t believe that these short-term antics of getting contestants to sing commercial music will bring about anything good to the art of music.  Reality shows can never nurture soulful music. Moreover, children not older than fifteen years of age are exposed to flashy limelight for a very brief period and then left to their own fate, resulting in dire effects to their psyche in their teens. How many winning contestants have gone on to become successful musicians post the reality shows? It’s the parents’ responsibility to deeply reflect on these issues. They are to blame for the frenzy they let their kids undergo.

In all these years, have you been able to shed your caste identity?

When asked if I am a Brahmin, I wish to say ‘No’ with all my heart. However, I must and I do question myself if I am being true to myself. I must admit that I am afraid that an identity so wilfully disowned could fiercely crop up when one least expects. Hence I believe in accepting the identity as is and work on ways to passively resist the same.

Interviewer: Arul Ezhilan
Translation: Deepalakshmi J

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Road

I am fond of the road,
Lined with shabby shops
Or laced with stately trees,
I love the twists and bends
Even creepy corners
or the dark side lanes
The road entices me, enthralls me
As long as it doesn't lead me anywhere
It might even enlighten me

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

A wild fire

The gush of winds that fanned the blaze,
At its noble heights of soaring glory;
Now rush quietly to quench the flames,
Muttering about how things went awry!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Of crushes - the good, bad, and the mad!

It was "Kamalhassan" in times teeny,
With 'Life is beautiful', came "Benigni"
the intriguing Italian, live and agile,
then "Vikram" stayed for a very short while;
As Severus Snape soon came along,
"Alan Rickman" stood firm and strong!
Quite a few got lost in the maze,
grayed and faded away in a haze;
It's always clear of what will stay,
and what might merely flicker away;
That which gets past shallow sense,
and lets your crazy soul balance,
That you know will loom over,
and may be, just may be, will stay forever!

Friday, May 29, 2015

A loving dad...!

What kind of people could be a writer’s ardent admirers and close buddies? fellow writers, poets, publishers, even politicians, right? Well, this rule doesn’t hold good when it comes to JK. A doctor who hasn’t read even a word of his writings, an illiterate auto-driver, drug peddlers, Gana singers, and several other people from the lowest economic strata of the society have special places in their hearts for him, and have enjoyed his kinship for years.

Though this is not a sudden revelation, I truly realized its significance when he was recently hospitalized in critical condition. Mr. Pazhani who relentlessly rode 80 Kms to and fro on his bike, just so he could be at dad’s side, Dr. Poonkunran who kept checking on his wellness thrice a day, though he was supposed to be holidaying in the US, Auto Selvaraj, who came with Amman temple’s holy blessings and tearfully applied tikka on his forehead; the list goes on. JK’s love for humanity is not only evident from his writings but also from his friends ranging from all ranks of the society.

Can you truly love something, bound by its authority? It’s a known fact that artists who hold a great love and compassion for the society are also guilty of breaking most of its norms.

For years, I had believed that the charismatic author JK and my dad with his varied idiosyncrasies are two very different persons. Perhaps, had I been one of his close buddies I might have been illuminated better.

“Your children are not your children. They came through you but not from you; and though they are with you, they do not belong to you.” – These words of Kahlil Gibran remind me largely of dad. This was his way with us. He has never hampered our wills and wishes; has let us make our own choices in life, guiding us with only gentle and wise words.  It’s not so easy for parents to shower such unconditional love on their kids without expectations.

As kids, we have enjoyed his utmost pampering and attention. He used to tell us stories, sing funny songs; even tie our shoelaces and fill water bottles when we were running late for shcool. Also, he has been very scrupulous in sending someone for us without delay whenever the school-rickshaw could not pick us up. That he himself came to take me home on a rainy day is one of my ‘evergreenest’ memories!

I believe that the best gift you could give your children is to live an exemplary life, not compromising your integrity and dignity. And this, I learnt from dad.

  • Deepa

Time for tea? Time for two!

Lone lunches have never been uncommon or unpleasant. Even when work has kept your nose to the grindstone all through the morn, if you just...