Goa, Circa 2013 

Strolling in the drizzle one becomes green like the hills
Clotting besides the river, between you and them a bridge
Last catch of fish dissected at the creek, prawns –
Your favourite
Cooking somewhere in the breeze

Roofed red tiles, curving street, scent of sausages
Drying ignored and becoming potent like an education
A radio clicks, fuzz of signals punctuate the harbour
A ferry roams in its waves and reaches you pregnant

While I sip insipid tea from a patrao’s cart
The season brews over the river, coming with it
An ancient scent of stacked cashews

Fish Curry

Sprawling coconut groves and sounds
of seagulls from the Caspian
cawing tales of Ottomans and Romans
the occasional perverted story
of the man with a cross

hopscotch – draw in red soil

hint of cumin in the breeze enticing
the want for lunch, overcast
the fur of my cat moving ahead

with the boar hunt, the mud pot
soiled and flavoured sits idle
sparked by sizzling onion, revived
the wind blows south

my uncle’s boat reaches us with a heavy net 

St. Basillica

one crosses the church slowly in traffic
building a symphony of sounds in humid weather
cut by the song of a children’s choir

one settles at the creek’s port waiting
for the ferry to arrive and empty itself
refilled by a mixed flock of migrants and locals

a bell stuns the background, you turn
a sea eagle
circles above as the bell travels
echoing the time

Ships at Malvan, circa 1522

A butterfly flaps over the creek and touches the sea
Boats float towards the island attracting gulls who circle wildly
The rows cream the water taking salt that later dries
Years trickle down the forehead of fisherfolk reaching the end of winter
The coconut groves hum a song of shadows
On the horizon dolphins jump occasionally
Distracting us from the ships that are slowly arriving with plague


Small lanes curving, taking
a wave of coconut trees ahead
into the river, cutting off
just before the bridge, where streams
splay paddyfields into many
fishponds for the kingfishers

Meanwhile the cashew cart urges ahead, smelling
of fermented time, the shirt
and loose pants of the farmer
painted by muck and a last monsoon
holds a few coins and soiled notes
for fish and urak to be bought later

Wet air carries the fragrance of the creek
dried fish and sausages
and the stench of soiled woodwork
of foreign ships
from the 15th century
scarring the sand with a cross


Rice Fields, Circa 2000

in this moment, the paddyfield
stirred by soft breezes

by the grey sky, mango trees
cloud into a forest

till the knees, the farmer
wades through his fluorescent land

by the pecking drizzle, he stands
watching the storm brew

13.1.17 – in memory of Nerur, Kudal, Maharashtra.