cinema Verse

Aaranya Kaandam

Into the review-verse

Sishya Uvacha

Tell me about this movie, o learned one

I am eager to hear your views

Lost, I am in this deluge of reviews

Which parts should I savour? Which to shun?

Acharya Uvacha

As the sick are keenly watched by the vulture

Here you are interested in mindless pop culture

With the hope that your fleeting interest soonly dies

I’ll tell you the movie’s lows and highs

Under the premise of portraying reality

This one too keeps out all morality

While all gangsters are cool

If you are innocent, you are a fool

This convoluted story about smuggled dope

Am sorry to say, offers very little hope

Without morality, the characters go off-route

An overdose of grey, whom should I even root?

Oh Sishya, savour the cinematography of PS Vinod

To which much of this success is surely owed

But mostly movie wants to be a la mode

So after a point, even the twists look elbowed

Trust not the views of others, not even mine

God offers a balance, in the sea of time

Fear not as what is now garlanded, will be neglected

And what is now neglected, will surely be garlanded

fiction politics Verse

Flower Writing

Being the second chapter of the Upper Balcony Sessions


Archer walked in as usual, the balcony floor which spoke only in the language of cleanliness now was covered with scraps of paper like a terribly dressed bride.

Archer never used think in imagery such as the above, in his previous employment as an assistant to one Mr. Abbot, a boring company man of yore who was needless to say; very very successful.

There Archer  was trained to approach with the directness of an archer, insights of a geographer and with the incisiveness of a diamond cutter from the farther provinces.

“Damn it, I’m doing this again, must stop” Archer muttered to himself.

The muddy puddle that was his mind settled to something like the soothing calm of the lake of reflection.

“In good time you have come, Archer” said the Sultan, still immersed in his paperwork like a….nevermind said Archer’s mind.

The sultan continued, “I am judging the annual poetry contest, and the entries this time have been more than encouraging, like a father who has just seen his firstborn smile, I go to work”

“But Sultan, your kingdom is at stake, your life is endangered, the poor people are restless; surely this not the time to judge the annual poetry contest” Archer pleaded but with a firmness in his tone that reflected his administrative capabilities.

Mr. Abbot would have been proud.

“But Archer, there is always time for poetry” saying so the Sultan started to look for one specific piece that had come in praise of himself and gave it to Archer for reading, but not before one more imagery.

“Read, my friend from the company, for a king and an elephant are alike, only others should speak of their greatness”

“But Jahanpanah, I do not understand, an elephant cannot really speak, even if wished to”

The Sultan’s stare alone was enough to silence poor Archer, he thought of how kind Mr. and Mrs. Abbot were before he read the poem.

“ I see your face in the sun,

For it is you who give us light

In the dark times though

You are the moon

A lion on the throne

An elephant on the battlefield

A crocodile to your enemies

A king among poets you are

A poet amidst kings

May your fame stand like a rock

While all others become dust”

Archer finished, his eyes widened in disbelief, his mind unable to come to terms with the situation.

“Wah! Wah!” said the Sultan, completely lost to the words.

“Surely, you are not going to give this piece the prize, are you Huzoor?” asked the bewildered Archer like a ….oh damn nevermind.

“Yes! This is a fine piece of flower writing, I recognize them at the instant, really your company men must be schooled in art and the aesthetics!” this was the Sultan.

Even before Archer could ask about this whole flower writing, the Sultan had started a recitation of sorts.

“like those soft petals

That adorn the heart

Words that come

Together like a garland

Those that please

The writer and the reader

Like a flower that smiles

With the light of the sun…..”

At this very moment, the assassin who was hiding in the nearby trees; obviously fed up with this recitation by the Sultan made the misstep of shooting an arrow much before his plan.

Obviously, the poisoned arrow, shrieking through the air like the yet to be discovered rocket, missed the Sultan by the breadth of a hair, panting for breath, the Sultan cried for help from below and God from above.

No one came.

It was Archer who took the Sultan to safety and sounded the alarm, the assassin who had managed to perch himself on the trees was later found to be an ex-poet of some repute, poverty had driven him to violence.

Sang the king in a high pitched voice much like a speaker of parliament trying to be heard.

“Why? This thirst for my blood?

Quietly flows the Yamuna

She who quences all our thirst..

She who….”

“Stop it! Oh King” this was the assassin (whose name has been withheld from history on request)

Archer was beginning to enjoy this final retort by the ex-poet now turned assassin

“Stop it! Oh King

The Yamuna is dark

As much as darkness can be

Made by the filth that fills this city

But not even the Yamuna can match

The darkness of our lives

The emptiness of our stomachs

The hopelessness of our children

Stop it! Oh King

For words may bring you the

Pleasure of flowers

But for us words are just words

Stop it! Oh King

Let not ‘art’ cloud your better judgement

Let not ‘poetry’ be your path to escapism

Let not ‘nature’ distance you from the people

Let not ‘words’ divert you from the message

Stop it! Oh king

Because not every time an arrow will miss”

Everyone in the royal court recognised the brilliance of this extempore performance by the ex-poet turned assassin, naturally no one applauded.

“Wah!Wah!” said Archer’s mind, “finally someone who was worth the prize for poetry.”

The prize for an attempt assassination was of course, public execution.




cinema cinema:english Sketch Verse

The Man behind a thousand masks


Loved you in the Wicker Man
but you were born to play Saruman
Countless are your appearances as Count Dracula
Monster/Madman/Detective what was your formula?
As you retire into the long west
Deserved will be this final rest
Goodbye dear Christopher Lee
World spins without you, poorly.
‪#‎ChristopherLee‬ ‪#‎RIP‬


The Road to the Mount

Dear road to the Mount
What have they done to you?
Did they seek permission to rip your anatomy
And tunnel through your bowels?
I see cranes reaching inside you
But cannot estimate the loss of normalcy
You have never been keeping well
Ever since they tied your legs into a clover
Your eye: a behemoth of Gothic horror
Didn’t your Mahavishnu raise any issue?
Or the usual agents from the tower,cower?
Mother of paths, they are your scraping your skin
And they tell me it is for the good
I am willing to believe them grudgingly because
For years you have carried us up and sewage below
Trains now will keep waste company.
Get well soon road to the mount,
million wheels wait without diversions.


Poetry as a career

<excerpts from a speech at a career fair>


It is only right, if I spoke in verse

Having gladly seen the empty seats

And black behind of the auditorium

It is only a known sight

For an experienced poet.

If one could call anyone that, these days.


With graying hair and falling teeth,

I say to you vehemently that it is a bad choice

But then my speech would end at the fall of this second

I am not here to sell pamphlets for poetry

Nor am I here to ward you away from words


I have seen how these counselors work

First they startle you with requirements

Then feed you with inspirational tales

Poetry, I assure you has no requirements

‘Not even words?’ you might ask

No, it is ok if you don’t know what basorexia means


Successful poets might want you to

Memorize sections of the OED

But success and poetry

Are as apart as man and butterflies


So I would advise you, to keep away from touts

Men who promise you a life of Shelly and Wordsworth

While the former drowned, the latter’s lungs enlarged

Poetry might not rhyme with luxury,

But it does perfectly with poverty

And I feel, there is some justice to it

Poetic justice, some might say wittily.


There is something heroic in seeing a tattered soul

Something worth shedding a tear for

A poet who has not a pension nor social security

It is not a wise choice, as you might have guessed

Then again, no one chooses to be a poet.


Poets are not writers, not technicians

Not salesmen,they are not even teachers

There are just men and who ask ‘why’ instead of ‘how’

They might ask you to write about themselves

Praise them with the sweetest of words

Pour on them the clean vanilla of compliments


You might have to sell your soul

Not just the one time

And spends years sulking in guilt

And more in reclaiming

What was once lost


They will mostly want you see nature

Write about the mountains and the sea

About the wet stones that a river passes by

Or the field of rice that are witness to pests

Of animals known and unknown, birds that fly and dont


Of their women both funny and desirable

People take more pleasure in anatomy description

Than the mere sight of heaven

But to end it all, a poet shall always sing about

What comes to him


As you know, the pay is not much

It varies from a pat on the back

To the throw of the tomato

But there is no happy thing than the face of

A man who has just completed his verse.


In the end, we look at them

Scraps of paper flying around

With nothing but empty cups

Of coffee and the gift of words.


Thank you.