On A Woman Meeting Paper Aeroplanes Coloured With Wax Crayons

Oh Woman,

when I fold aeroplanes for you
with neat creases
on thick white papers,
paint three-petal flowers on them
with yellow wax crayons
I stole from my 6-year-old cousin,
fly them to you from the corner of my balcony
so that it flies straight at you
cutting through the  cold breeze
and naked trees;


pick them up from the ground after their
successful landing
with distracted eyes,
throw them back on the ground,
stamp them with your black boots,
and walk past them
with disgust
as if my paper planes had sunk the twin towers.

Slaughterhouse-Five Review : Psychedelic And Gut Wrenching

Slaughterhouse-Five Review : Psychedelic And Gut Wrenching

I read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

The book Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death was recommended to me by a dear friend of mine who had also recommended Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. After concluding Catch-22 which laughed at me in its entire reading for letting it rest in my bookshelf in one corner for three seasons of a year, I was overwhelmed enough to shoot a thank you message to my dear friend Vijay, in the reply of which came the recommendation of Slaughterhouse-Five.

Also check out another war satire that kicks ass blue, green and red. Slaughterhouse – Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

In the heart of Slaughterhouse-Five lies Billy Pilgrim, a World War 2 veteran who has a disconnected life as an optometrist. So one fine night of his daughter’s wedding, he gets abducted by a race of aliens from the planet Trafmadore, who teach him how to get “unstuck in time”, which means, he can travel from one point of his life to another point in almost no time and anytime. Another interesting part about Billy is that he was present as an American prisoner in Dresden when it was bombed, and apparently, the only one to survive it. When Dresden was being bombed, absurdly, the prisoners had to hide in a slaughterhouse number five, from which the title of the book is derived.

Ah, as one may imagine, bullets are flying everywhere in a World War book, but its is not like that. Most of the time, Billy is tripping through the events of his life. Every now and then he goes back to the moment when he was thrown into a pool by his father to learn how to swim, the time when he peeked down the grand canyon on a family trip and realised how fearful it was, the night when he was abducted by the aliens who could see through the timeline of life as if they as seeing a valley standing on top of a high hill, and numerous other incidents.

It is hard to get a sense of the present time in this book, as the events switch quickly and fluidly between the sequence of time. And, all of this is weaved interestingly through the thread of Vonnegut’s humour, which I encountered for the first time in his book Cat’s Cradle. It is about the day the first atom bomb was dropped which killed so may people; but not as many as in the bombing of Dresden.

The book reveals many new outcomes on the concept of time as being subjective to our understanding. For writers, it shows an entirely new form of writing which perhaps has never been read, new, surprising, belief-shattering, and satire in the storyline which Kurt Vonnegut so masterly manages to show.

At many points, it is sad, happy at several, and full of surprising elements which sometimes seems to paint it through the colours of science fiction. The book begins like an epilogue which moves to the form of a narrative. It delivers punch lines which make you smile and thinking.

Slaughterhouse-Five leaves little behind to complain and much to cherish and remember. Indeed, the 60s was the of Yellow Submarine and this similarly psychedelic work by Kurt Vonnegut.


Oh Soft Gestures

Oh Soft Gestures,
standing tall,
hair neatly combed,
tongue fluent,
piercing bright green eyes,
existence convincing;

do you really wish me a pleasant flight?

sit on my lap
with a cup full of warm tomato soup,
and gaze with me at the warm yellow sun
through the busy runways,
far in the East.

And then,
I hope that you will let me
a cold kiss on your warm neck;

for me to have
the most pleasant flight.

Such is Loneliness

Such is Loneliness

Listening to a mosquito buzz
in the silent hours of night –
hovering around, buzzing –
the only sound.

Such is loneliness.

Watching an ice-cream melt –
dissolving in itself;
the cream dripping down your fingers,
making your palms sticky.

Such is loneliness.

Staring at the full moon
playing hide and seek with the clouds
while lying flat on the floor of the terrace,
hands crossed to behind your head.

Such is loneliness.

Blinking to an open book,
reading lines;
re-reading  lines;
no pages turned.

Such is loneliness.


Mother’s Little Helper

Opening mother’s drawer,
I find
black and green rubber bands,
nail colours,
old photographs,
and sleeping pills.

The search is easy;
mother would not wake up –
not even blink an eye,
not until 7 in the morning.

It is 1 in the night,
the howling dogs had their food,
the birds rest comfortably in their nest,
the moon has climbed high in the sky,
but I cannot sleep.

So, I decide to take a pill –
or two would be better.

Half an hour later,
it feels like I am resting naked in a bathing tub
filled with cold water up to my neck.

I have never had sleeping pills before,
and I am afraid when I wake up tomorrow
(I hope),
I will want some more.


When I See You

When I see you,
I am a shy little boy hiding behind his mother’s apron,
and I wish you would touch me.

I could, like a cat, approach you and try to flatter you,
but I do not have any soft fur or delicate purr
to gain your attention
so stand afar like a hungry dog
staring at the piece of bread which lies a little beyond the line –
into an unfamiliar territory.

When I see you walking across the isle,
I am a flower in a blooming garden waiting for a bee
to come and taste my nectar.
But you on a quest to decorate our room
where visitors come to see every evening soaked in perfume,
dressed in the finest clothes,
snap through me which your cold iron scissor,
take me and keep me in a glass vase where I die –
a slow and familiar death.

When I see you talking to someone,
I am a rusted, old piano waiting for your tender fingers
to press my keys and let me express in a harmonious melody.
But you have the finest opera artists eager to play for you,
so I remain locked in an unfrequented corner
where spiders weave their webs around me –
tangle me –
with great patience.

When I see you living,
I am a dying soldier in a battlefield,
reaching out for a flask of water.
But you it away from my sight to water the plants in your garden
that never bloom even at the arrival of spring.