Two Voices



Siddhartha, the sakya prince
looked at his wife and the new born son
deep into a restful slumber
that a peaceful night begets
one last time..
Yashodhara’s disheveled attire
the gentle rise and fall of her breast,
the unruly lock of hair rests on
her achingly beautiful face!
His little son smiled in sleep
secure in mother’s warm bosom.
Ah, Innocence!
The sight of tiny infant tugged at his heart.
“Your mother will be all after i depart, my son!”
“O Yashodhara! The only love of my life!
A woman is a woman,
but now i see motherhood at its best,
Yet, my fortitude is out on test!”

His mouth felt dry, his heart missed a beat,
his steps wanted to retreat.
But alas! the pull of his soul
was greater, stronger , stranger!
And then,
he stepped silently into the night
lost into the deeper void
to search the meaning of life!


At the daybreak
when chirping birds
splashed ochre ,yellow and red on the sky,
Yashodhara tenderly
felt the bed he had slept in
No sign of him,
she got up with a start
and felt a chill making way into her heart
and running down her spine!

She trembled with fear
her eyes, moist with tears
So, the time had come
to renounce the worldly pleasures?
She relived those moments
she had treasured
She knew so well
who he was
and what his seeking heart desired.
Yet she felt betrayed
by the cruel fate and her heart craved
to see him, feel him, love him
one last time…

O Siddhartha! Love of my Life!
How could you go without
letting me know?
Did you ever think of my love, my desire?
Or the anguish that torments me now, the fire?
I wish you had the grace
to honor me ,
your wife of thirteen years
with at least a last embrace!
“Was i ever a fetter”, she sighed,
or a hindrance to your seeking soul?
How could that ever be?
But , alas! My loss is world’s gain.
It befits me now that
i must refrain from grieving.
With this, she stifled a sob,
and drowned the scathing pain
of hurt and abandonment
in the deeper recesses
of her heart!




The play of tiny tender words,

like elfin songs in cuckoo’s breast,

like murmurs of dry autumn leaves,

soared high on wispy purple wings,

touched morning mist on yonder hills,


dropped ochre-pink on charcoal sky,

all spent and weary to the core,

slept in silent caves of silhouettes,

dreaming of tomorrow’s dawn!



An elderly gentleman in his 80’s was sitting and reading in the library.Suddenly his mobile phone rang breaking the silence of the reading room! Eyebrows rose, faces frowned, eyes looked up to nail the culprit. Oblivious of the annoyance he had inadvertently caused, he was speaking to someone, ( i overheard a female voice) telling her ( a daughter, a granddaughter maybe) that he would meet up with her at 4 in the evening at her office. A smile broke up on his tired looking face! But his sentence hung in the mid air as the ‘custodian’ of the library pounced on him for having broken the quiet and sanctity of the place.
“Don’t you know this is a library?” A bespectacled middle aged man , the librarian, gesticulated with a sweep of his hand at the people busy reading, writing, and researching, some even napping!
“Sorry , Sir!” The old man apologized nervously and abruptly cut off the communication.
Opening up the book once again, he stared at the page. I looked at him. His wavy grey hair had thinned out, his temples greyer and body frail, his face, an ocean of wrinkles, having weathered many summers and winters! And his responses slow. The old grey suit hung on him.
What a shame! Sitting in the next carrel, i was crestfallen, i was shocked . No longer able to continue with my work, i threw a friendly smile at him and whispered “Why don’t you finish the conversation you were having? Outside the reading room, may be!”
Hurt and humiliation resurfaced . He said, “But i have already switched off the phone.” In a second or two , he got up and left his seat fishing out his mobile phone from his pocket. That was the last i saw of him. Did he think i was an accomplice?

What if the librarian had been a little more gentle, a little less rude, a little more courteous, a little less blunt?images  old age
The world would have been so much lovelier !


My Confession

ImageWhy do i blog? Why do i write? For whom? I wondered  quite often till i came across this lovely Indian folktale. I had found the answer!Here’s the adaptation of the story from the poet-folklorist A K Ramanujan’s repertoire:

A woman  knew a story and she also knew a song. But she kept them to herself, never told anyone the story or sang the song. Imprisoned  inside her , the story and the song felt choked. they wanted to be freed, they wanted to flee . One day when she was sleeping with her mouth open, the story escaped and took the shape of a pair of shoes and sat outside the house. The song also escaped and took the shape of a man’s coat and hung on the peg.

The woman’s husband came home, looked at the coat and shoes and asked her, “Who’s visiting?”

“No one, “she said.


“But whose coat an shoes are these?”

She did not know. But he was suspicious and quarreled with her. In anger, he  picked up his blanket and went to  the Monkey God’s temple to sleep.

Now, all the lamp flames of the town , once they were put out, assembled in the temple to spend the night and gossip. That  night, all the flames came except one who was late . The others asked the latecomer, “Why are you late tonight? “At the house , the couple quarreled late into the night, said the flame. “Why did they quarrel?” The flame told about the quarrel between the husband and the wife. ” The lady of our house knows a story and a song. She never tells the story, has never sung the song to anyone. The story and song got suffocated inside so they got out and turned into a coat and a pair of shoes. They took revenge. The woman doesn’t even know.”

The husband’s  suspicions were cleared. When he went home it was dawn. He asked his wife about her story and her song. But she had forgotten both of them.”What story, what song?” She said.

Stories cry out to be told else they suffocate, they die. Untold stories fester and take revenge. Neither stories nor flames are ever put out. Stories are magical, instrumental, they have  a life of their own and insist on being told and kept alive. 

So if you have  a story, you owe it not only to others but to the tale itself, or else it suffocates!

Let my stories , tales and songs, too, find a generous audience!

(All images are courtesy Google)



Magic Moments

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Outside the window,

across the Lake,

the  ochre-red sun

turns the blue mountain gold,

the dappled sky,

lazes languorously for a while

and turns crisp blue .

A flock of mountain birds

floats  freely, dips and soars,

tracing graphic patterns

in the unblemished sky.

A pair of rhododendron trees, next door

bloom with ruby red flowers,

(How he loved the flowery rhododendron drink !)

On the winding dirt track little below

a lone mule trudges wearily

with cans of milk and bundles of greens,

led by a sleepy, scrawny  teenager

in over-sized coat and cap!

Behold ! The sky turns foggy, white vapory clouds,

like ethereal spirits, enter

unannounced through the open window.

Time for more cups of spiced tea

honey-sweetened ,


Such beauty, such bliss!

We dwell in the beauty of moment,

We sit in silence, sit in peace,

My house of magic moments,

perches on the edge of memory, still.

May this house live longer,

grow stronger!

Till i die!



“So oft have I invoked thee for my Muse…”9d20d3bacff032a7dd4952eadceaed64