My Noori

They tell Noori
It’s been so long, she needs to let go
But Noori is still a child
Her hair, wild
Noori is a round face bacchii (child)
Who runs around the house the entire day
Pretending to be an elephant
She’d bless you if you hand her a paisa
With all those fat round cheeks
She was a baby elephant
But then a monster came by
Told her he was going to teach her a new game

Now my dear Noori never had anyone to play with
The poor child took the deal
He took her to the woods behind her home
The monster made a deal, told her
“Shhhhh this is a secret, don’t tell another”
The monster touched my baby girl
Every time, his hands ran over her
The child in her died
Inch by inch through her skin
Monster kept treading within

Her sweet stories were turned filthy

The words he made her say
One afternoon Noori returned from the woods

Noori was not an elephant anymore
With the monster hair stuck in her baby skin, an ugly porcupine
She pulled it one after another and

Her smile vanished
Her body hurt,
Most intimate and delicate part of her
Hurt, pricked, inflamed
They had to sing her to sleep at night
“It hurts”, she screamed through
The darkness
No one ever imagined Noori could be hurt
Doctors called in
Priests prayed
Elders cursed
No-one knew Noori was dying
On the inside

Fortunately, five years later, the monster moved
Farther away into other woods
And Noori could finally be a child again
No more hiding, no more whistle calls,
Noori started growing year after year
But lived in perpetual fear
How she’d be outcast if people were to find out
My poor Noori didn’t know she wasn’t to blame

Noori is now grown up
Last we heard of her she’s now a bad ass
But her skin is as if it’s suffered third-degree burns
She doesn’t let anyone touch her
Every touch still kills her
Unless she really chooses
Some nights she lives in fear
But as the sun rises, Noori goes on to conquer
Everything in her way

Noori has buried it all deep within her
They tell Noori
It’s been so long, she needs to let go
But somewhere deep down
My Noori is still a child


My villain is a good man

The villain of my story is a good man
He despises the evil
He’s a man who’s not aware
That he is the evil
He reads himself on paper every day
“Oh Lord” he goes on to sigh
My poor villain
doesn’t realize they are talking about him
He doesn’t have a clue
For my villain is a good man
He helps every passerby
Goes out of his way, to see that they have a life
Give sermons against all the bad
he does
For he is oblivious
He says do not kill
He kills thousands in a single breath
He says do not lie
He is not capable of the truth
He says, disowns violence
He hires goons to beat up his wife
But my villain is a good man
He has his reasons
A strong validation
For the guilty deserved to be punished
He believes
And he punishes
For he loves them first
And he derides them next
My villain is a God on earth
He wants to heal
He loves to help
If you are lonely, he is like your self
But you have to worship him, you have to bow
For the villain is a good man
and he deserves his prize
My villain wants to be rich
to help the poor
He has empathy for someone
incapable of a feeling toward another
It’s his universe, and you are just a creature
A good man, my villain
He weeps for the dead, the same dead he
once mocked, he wished to kill
But he despises tyrants
He says their tears are watercolors
Now he sheds tears of blood
He doesn’t meet his flock
He graces them with his grandiose presence
He says “My people, I have been a victim”
His folk naive bears his wrath
Now he’s the hero they love to loathe
But my villain is a good man
For he believes so


My Body Remembers You

My body writes it all down
Notes every time she comes across another;
Every scratch of the nail against her bareback
Every flutter of your lashes
She remembers all of it in flashes,

Every tooth that digs into the lip
Drawing streams of red,
Every clutch of her waist
Trespasses and passing touches
Each whispered word on her earlobes.

Every tug of her strands
If he is lucky, she lets him inside her mind.
She relishes, savors the taste of him.
However, sometimes, she throws up.
every cruel word he says,

He may not know her
However, she remembers his hand print.
His shoe size between her breasts
When he wandered through the valley
That connects her to generations that.
Have passed on

She remembers the oppression,
The suppression against the walls that they built for her
She fights back, she caves in
She remembers every little touch on her skin.
Every aah that has risen from deep within,

She sees every look he throws at her
as a piercing glance that tears through her chest,
Sometimes stops at her breasts.
Some look through her eyes.

He sees her light making love to her dark
He radiates the glow, and he feels the burn.
She remembers how he smells.
She inhales from him.
every lease of life.

Her heartbeat against the side of his face
It doesn’t beat for him.
It’s running its race.

She writes it down
When you intrude,
As you enter the sanctum
moreover, the sacristy, when you touch
every forbidden holy space,

She only feels as much
As she allows herself to
She’s alive like a hurricane.
She’s dead at times too.
She shudders, at times she roars.

Lets it be but sometimes she scrubs
Her body clean,
Banishing you from her zone;
I let her decide her vibe.

For the body, they say, never lies.



My son Sid

His Thomas kept falling in the ditch

O’er and o’er and o’er again

He wakes me up at 6

“Mama, Thomas fell in the ditch”

He says no good morning

No good night, no good day

Just Thomas falling in the ditch

He screams at my every touch, like

His body has third degree burns

My child, mine but not yet

He holds his Thomas engine and runs

Around the house

Whole day, in circles

Like my relationship with him

For all the vocabulary he’d inherited from me

All he retains:

“Thomas fell in the ditch”

I wish I could save Thomas

For once,

But I guess, Thomas has to keep falling

In the same ditch

At least it makes Sid happy