Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Continued, elsewhere

Please update your bookmarks. I can now be found at Same Worlds, Other Worlds.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's time to move on

Readers must have noticed that I haven't updated for a long while. I waited to see if it will pass, but it seems this blog will no longer pass muster for whatever purposes are, now. So - we must move on. To some other turf.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Beat Elegy

in memoriam Shakti Bhatt

Many times I tried to become a bard for her but found my tongue
                lost to the screams in the mouth
                of my last night’s dream —
the dream where I run to catch the sorrows singing on his homely wall
                & find them black with my own blood,
the dream where things happen without a reason, or logic, or forewarning,
                & towers fall with no more provocation
                than a breath of flat air,
the dream where I try again to run after & catch the japing sorrows
                but they fly straight into the premises
of a noble spirit, guarded by snakes of dust & sweat & fearsome tears,
                so I can only look at her cradled between the
                branches of parijat, wearing a band of 7-colour peacock
feathers & a rope of charcoal, & my entreaties to her to remember him
                go unheard, my summons to our commonalities
                of age, once love, to no avail,
my conjuring of that tangy summer evening disregarded where
                perfectly formed couplets were spoken &
                soared before our collective delighted eyes,
& I give up & think she has returned to her own species,
                or else the trace of blue
under her eyes will become one day a blue bird resting
                its head at the tips of the branches,
but the thought hurts so much I wake up in a shrieking silence.

May 2007

Also here

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Despisals by Muriel Rukeyser

[First heard on Poetcast; found the text here. I read this at the QueerFest yesterday, along with my own poems.]

In the human cities, never again to
despise the backside of the city, the ghetto,
or build it again as we build the despised
backsides of houses. Look at your own building
You are the city.

Among our secrecies, not to despise our Jews
(that is, ourselves) or our darkness, our blacks,
or in our sexuality wherever it takes us
and we now know we are productive
too productive, too reproductive
for our present invention – never to despise
the homosexual who goes building another

with touch with touch (not to despise any touch)
each like himself like herself each.
You are this.

In the body’s ghetto
never to go despising the asshole
nor the useful shit that is our clean clue
to what we need. Never to despise
the clitoris in her least speech.
Never to despise in myself what I have been taught
to despise. Nor to despise the other.
Not to despise the it. To make this relation
with the it : to know that I am it.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Different Beat + Ochre As The Earth

Tomorrow, I read at the Nigah QueerFest's performance evening - do come if you're in Delhi.

And if you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur on the 3rd of June, go watch the marvellous Sharanya Manivannan's solo spoken word show, Ochre As The Earth.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Let's sing about the dark times

And there is much to sing about.

Especially the unspeakably outrageous.

At Baroda, a student of the fine arts faculty is arrested and its dean suspended. Why? Read Zigzackly's post giving updated information and sign the online petition here. NOW.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Delhi: Open Baithak, May 18, 6.30 pm

Dear friends,

Earlier this year, the British Council Delhi had organized a Spoken Word Series featuring performances and workshops by UK and Indian poets such as Anjum Hasan, Jeet Thayil, John Hegley, Lemn Sissay, Patience Agbabi and Vivek Narayanan. This culminated in an open mic evening at Sarai, where those of us present felt the necessity for more such spaces, which give an opportunity to poet performers to explore how performance and poetry can be brought together, spaces where words can come alive on the stage through ways and means ranging from music to rhythm to dance and beyond.

Introducing "Open Baithak", a space to experiment with words, enjoy them, delight in them and do risky and innovative things with them. A space where poet performers coming from different linguistic, literary and oral traditions can find and learn from each other. A space where new poets can try out their verses and voices.

The first five sessions of Open Baithak are being sponsored by the British Council Delhi. Come to participate, or as audience to good poetry and to daring, dazzling performances.

WHEN: 18 May 2007, 6.30-8.30 pm
WHERE: The Attic, 36 Regal Building, Connaught Place (see

To sign up, email or show up at the Open Baithak. Email the same if you have questions!

Look forward to seeing you there.



1. You get 7-8 mins on the mike. A bell will signal when your time is up.
2. Bring new material at every Open Baithak. You can perform the same material twice max, if you wish to try it in a different way.
3. You can bring poems or prose readings in any language. In fact we would love an active participation by poet performers in languages other than English.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

why sing the song of childhood?

Because when Joshua Bell played at the L'Enfant Plaza metro station (link courtesy Anand), only seven of 1,070 people passing by stopped for a minute or more to listen to him play; "[e]very single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away."

So I stop when Wenders and Handke sing.

Monday, April 02, 2007

In loss

Sometimes words are not enough. Someone gone from amongst you, so swiftly you don't know how to react. Someone with such promise and potential and joy for life. S, we'll miss you. Dear dear J, may all the prayers of the world be with you.

Kenya Photo Diary: Malia Kitty

She stole into our apartment night before yesterday. Had obviously been a pet of the previous owners, the way she rubs herself against the furniture, the way she looked quizzically - almost accusingly - at us in the beginning.

She is curiously familiar, her color exactly the color of Frodo, and this makes me foolishly fond of her. I think I remind her how to play again, hiding a lolly stick behind slippers, with a rolled up newspaper, tap-tapping on chairs till she goes quite bananas. This morning, the chair was strangely warm when I sat on it, and then I saw something padding by. Kitty, now called Malia ("queen" in Swahili) walked nonchalantly and settled herself on the verandah.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Zubaan's 21 under 40: New Stories for a New Generation.

It includes some of my favorite writers: Mridula Koshy, Annie Zaidi, Anjum Hasan, Nisha Susan, a few whom I yet have but a cursory familiarity with -- and the editor packs quite a punch herself. I heard extracts from a couple of stories at the IHC today; can't wait to read the collection.

Yes, you can sense there's something new happening in this anthology. Let's hope as many or more publishers in India become willing to take risks, as writers!

What's happening in Nandigram?

Were the killings, the disappearances, the terror justified? No way. Follow updates and analysis at Nandigram Lal Salam.