The Profiles of Birds
and thick foliage
in an enclosure opposite our garden
invited the golden orioles to stay on;
often they perch on a bo tree or an old banyan
sometimes chasing the irritant house crows
sometimes coming close to us for a short stay
soon to fly away.
As the summer through rains was evaporating
I found them often absenting;
the idea that they might have migrated
gave birth to a feeling of remorse
for not snapping them during their course.
Bright golden-yellow with sharp black patches
preening and pruning with beak
gnawed at my heart, incited me to seek
and catch them to keep in memory digital.
And then suddenly—peu
the call reverberated in the air;
if not all, it must have reached a few.
Ready with camera held in two hands
as I stood below the drum-stick tree
they were spreading wings, preening and pruning
unafraid and free;
seeing me close by, posing the instrument to catch
they began love making, two of them dancing
jovially, jumping from branch to branch;
it seemed entirely unusual and rare
for them to so behave with me so near.
I began clicking to catch and imprison the beauties
forgetting that the Sun was at its youth—
standing before me; a morning sooth
like a real cul-de-sac.
I caught, alas, the shadows of the birds,
profiles surrounded by twisting branches and dark leaves,
Though in my heart I have kept their images and song
the idea to imprison them was perhaps wrong.
I strongly feel that all this has been
with the intervention of a presence unseen
for things evanescent in any sense
are to be realized only in essence.
At Allahabad in northern
India one finds two rivers, Ganga and Yamuna, mixing. Legend
has it that Saraswati, now flowing underground as recently
testified, also mixes with the other two here, meaning that
the three most revered, historic, mythological rivers of
India commingle here. It is called Triveni Sangam. On tithi
or auspicious astronomical dates people come to dip in this
Triveni Sangam. It is also called Prayag. For such huge
gathering of lacks of people it is natural that fairs are
arranged. The original Kumbh Mela or fair is held once in
I find a sea of humanity
here, gathered as if with the aspiration of doing something
very auspicious to fulfil their lives, now and after. Though
it seems that the people have left their home and hearth to
come to this distant land under some unforeseen urgency,
actually it is the unity and aspiration of equal minds which
have brought them here; a happy commingling of hearts at the
confluence of rivers.
as if a mass exodus
but their faces are serene—
sea of humanity
gathered at Allahabad Ganga
bathing for nectar; Kumbha Mela.
There is a peak in the
kodaikanal mountain range which is named Suicide Point. The
reason is that, it is said, quite some persons, specially
youth, committed suicide by jumping from here. As I visit
the peak the valley seems very far with glittering things of
myriad hues. Light and darkness plays in the field
constantly as plays the colors. At some time it seems as if
the mountains are moving while staying fixed—
their heads seems to undulate. It is a mesmerizing scene.
Light on clouds, clouds
So occult to claim a surrender
So deep to incite suicide
Lotus and the Boat
End of the rainy season still
greets the earth with light showers which rinse or splash.
The sky shines in bright blue face, slightly darkened
occasionally to end in some pouring. Happiness abounds in
all the fields growing paddy with other greeneries. The
earth is satisfied yet solicitous. Sun is bright. Lake is
I am riding on a big country
boat with two oarsmen at two ends. Water in the lake is full
to the brim, smiling with jubilant water lilies—pink,
white and red; lotus groves—pink
and white. Ripples often play splashing inside the boat
drenching us. The lotus leaves are quite close to the boat
and the lotus buds with stems often seem taller than the
edge of the boat.
swishing the inside of the boat—
dark green lotus leaves, close
was published in Indian Haiku—print
edition only- 2008)