a few years ago I left my voice at the bus stop
it asked a lady for the time, it made small talk with passengers
when the conductor asked for change, it shrouded
no one has heard of it since

a few years ago I left my feet at a lover’s house
they searched for slippers and hoped the raincoat
wasn’t torn, in the flooded city they floated –
by winter, they were nowhere to be found

my heart, I left it at the center of the old fort, it’s been years
by now a tree must’ve grown there and
sent out blossoms to the dargah, or maybe
it was brushed aside by morning sweepers, who once
introduced me to the art of dipping biscuits in tea

Eight years ago I left behind a boy of sixteen, virgin and strong
I filled him with songs and told him to never return
I scolded him and told him time is everything
And blocked him out so that he finds his own wisdom
Haven’t seen him since, not even virtually
But sometimes through a crowded local train when there’s just
enough space to peep through outstretched arms
I see someone like him walking with a stubble and soiled notebooks
ashamed of his stutter while trying
to light a cigarette with a borrowed matchstick



Come wrap yourself around me, like two lotuses
closing in on each other
send poetry into me and nurture my scent
narrate to me tales in Assamese and recipes
of steaming meat inside bamboo and tea inside metal
Fill me with slow hours that replenish, at each
whisper on your weightless arm, travel
across the mountain passes where my ancestors
wait for you with berries and boar pickle
Embrace me tighter, I am becoming the night
clouds hover over me and silken your forehead
A bonfire inside you crackles, on adding wood
your arms lock me into dawn, in the distance
an old train emerges from a tunnel, its song
combining with the newly arrived cuckoos in your heart


occasional excursions into new beds fizzle, love
instead returns each time
as a dove seeking water, as
a page wanting to be folded before
being felt, an act seeking
a curtain’s gradual closure, while relishing
anonymous applause

another night dissolves into dawn, awakened
by the stale odour of loneliness, the dove
now a hawk, vanishes without farewell, stained
by teacup prints a page yellows,
as you open the curtain, a city appears
a million windows aged, abused
by the sound of life running away


Hi K, how are you, last night
I saw you cross from this foothpath
to the one opposite, in between
a solar system flattened

I sensed your rush, you even
cut a call from god, texting that
you’ll call back later, eschewing
the lure of parked whores
you dashed into a colony of visions

I wanted to run after you, stop
you and ask you for your new number, ask
if you’re free tomorrow for a short dinner, listen
to your exploits about memory erasure

but I stopped as you opened your new wings
the slum rotting under your rise
I watched you happy, for the first time,
it was new and it stunned me endless
Never thought I’d do what I did next –
took a picture of you, I also did
that other thing, for the first time,

I let you go


others fear loneliness as much as I fear being discovered
crouching in the sunlit haze of a cafe’s corner with eyes closed
passively nursing the exasperation of having lived life poorly
sometimes in sobered down streets I fear being discovered
ogling at used clothes carts, old women bargaining, rusting gates
and peering into decayed houses haunted by evening news and scraped wall paint
awkward faces noticing me lost in the haze of unsure observance

enamoured by the public garden’s aural ether which lulls the brain
I fear you suddenly finding me after many years with me grown fatter
my beard covering most of my flaws like moss over an old bungalow
and from your perfection you ask me questions about future movements
trees behind you alight in bokehs while children circlulate my silence with laughter

others fear failure as much as I fear being mediocre
unable to be sane at the crucial moment when one must say yes unwillingly
haunted by the unfulfilled self smashing mirrors and turning rants into songs
strolling into terrors, immune to being flawless, experiences ferment
in passing blurs life leaves me bits of colour and lush memoirs 


12.11 am. Let it begin. Raincoats soaked,
teapots cloaked
by thick steam, the murmurs of shadows
passing in and out of their faces

Books browse the breeze, their flaps open
pages stroked and shivered
unwritten bits whispered as wants
sitting on moist ears

Like a workshop, the bed, busy and frantic
rises and falls like an ocean, whose waves
travel towards the silent coasts of windows
faraway and sleeping

Some of Your Poetry

Show me some of your poetry – the verses
that take flight on mornings where the sun melts
a mountain’s fog-robed forest

Let me touch the parts that prolong themselves
into forming images inside me, I want to be
at the moment where they are born as words
Show me some of those, some of these
Show me the bits that were once leftovers
But have now grown into stories – show me

some of your poetry – the verses
that dissolve into the sea like a sun
and reappear as tides that come and go
teasing a coast otherwise silent to you

Let me see where you store yourself for later
regathering and recollection, where the river
cuts across the land as leading lines for cranes
migrating from one season to another, carrying
wisdom from your past lives onto your page
Show me some of those letters, show me
the cursive scribbles that are a maze of people,
further archived as longing, coming to the surface
to breathe for an instant, every now and then
as printed poems