The Kite

He danced to the breeze 

as it licked his skin,


He was floating

above the noise

above the crowd.

His body strained 

To pull away

To break free.

The string wavered


And snapped!

Finally he was free,

He soared

soared high 

and took with him 

All his hopes and dreams 

Painting them,

across the sky!


I make you smile 

I make you smile,

She’ll make you laugh. 

I’m only pretty, 

She will be gorgeous. 

You look at me,

You’ll stare at her. 

You remember me,

You’ll think of her. 

I’m the routine,

She the adventure. 

I’m your present,

Will she be your future?


Is the bride shy?

Is that why her eyes

do not meet his

through the sequinned veil,

 or is it because she’s told not to,

not to look at him directly 

not to challenge his gaze

by her mother

and her mother’s mother. 

Is it dangerous?

to stare back at strange men

Men who ogle

Men who smack their lips

imagining the what ifs. 

Do not avert your gaze. 

Bend your head down

in embarrassment. 

Stare back with fury. 

Show them the strength 

of the heart 

that beats beneath your breast. 

Just stare back. 


Of dragons and unicorns 

When the last lamb is slaughtered

and the last tiger is skinned,

when the last scallop is eaten

and the last donkey is beaten,

when the last gazelle is poached

and the last duck is dropped,

when the last lion is hung,

and stuffed up to it’s tongue,

when the last salmon is caught

and stripped of eggs till naught

Kids will point and ask,

Did the elephant breathe fire?

Could the monkey walk on a wire?

And when they sleep,

They will dream of eagles and scorpions 

instead of dragons and unicorns. 



Hands meant to,

pull the kite chord,

pat on sand mounds,

paint with colours 

Are now sadly

hands that,

sell fruits on roads,

reach out begging,

scrub floors clean. 

Hands meant to,

hold a cricket bat,

put pen to paper,

solve math problems,

are now sadly,

hands that,

serve tea under trees,

caress strangers,

reach into pockets. 

Hands meant to,

heal the sick,

build bridges,

save the planet

are now sadly 

hands that 

grip iron bars,

pat fruitful bellies,

pay the price

for the society’s sins.



The wedding. 

Hues of white and purple,

soft flowers and lace. 
Ladies laden in gold,
Sarees hugging their waists. 
The ceremonial chantings
precede the dance beats. 
A western take
on an eastern ritual. 

Perfectly parted hair,
jewelled by the sun and moon. 
Her reflection flawless. 
Her expectations endless.
He was so handsome,
They’d have beautiful children. 
They said. 
Her parents promised 

The suit clung to him,
forcing the air out of him. 
His life’s story,
written by those around him. 
She was sweet and innocent. 
She might never know. 
He liked her enough,
but love her,he did not.

They danced under the lights. 
Yet their lives would be dark. 
Every time she looked at him,
his eyes were averted. 
Sweeping the crowds. 
She followed his eye. 
A pair of tear filled eyes,
stared back from the crowd. 

Three heart broke that night. 
A woman,a man and a man.  



Raindrops,cold and hard

stoned her body. 

She was being punished

she thought. 

Let it wash away,

wash away the sins,

wash away her smell,

wash away her love. 

Memories flash. 

Memories of flesh,

lust and greed. 

She was alone now. 

Yet she could feel them. 

They were staring. 

Moments of pleasure,

overpowered by guilt. 

They can see her. 

She was of the faith. 

Hands used to pray,

had held her breasts. 

Had she gone astray? 

Who was she to chose?

They were almost one. 

The saviour who taught her to love

The lover who saved her.