By Appointment


Four swamis sitting on the waiting bench at Thrissur

wearing big rudraksha beads around their neck.

Their foreheads blessed with a day’s fresh sandalwood and kumkum.

They see me seeing them and their eyes twinkle.

Same platform with rice fields nearby

and my explicit adoration elicits a welcome smile

from the tall woman in a sari of soft pastels

with a shaven head.

Tropical flora that awakens my sensuality,

a wooden gate that catches my eye,

the chai wallah entering my pulse,

and cows always nearby.


Waterfalls and tiny shrines

of Ma Durga, Sri Ganesha

and each vibrant color that offers a reflection

of my Spirit.

Keen to wisdom found on walls,

men arm in arm, hand in hand,

and a most fantastic moustache atop a gorgeous smile.

All become my secret treasures.

A necessity to exhale

as mind lets go,

surrendering to a cell’s ability

to absorb this magic world.


Two men rest under a Banyan tree,

while spotted deer adorn the jungle landscape.

A woman sits upon her blanket

stringing garlands for Diwali.

A snake’s bite on bare feet kills tens of thousands.

Pregnant mother elephant and child

     snacking on the side of the road.

I watch without breathing.

Temples as holy places,

as teachers,

as refuge,

and often their walls as a latrine for passerbys.


Amazed at the delight often revealed

even amidst the heaps of trash.

People sleeping on the street and under the  train tracks.

What happens when it floods?

Waves and nods

communicating stories



A man wanders through the grasses from the sea,

women wash in the river

 sometimes a bucket upon her head,

often with a goat in tow.


I weep like the skies for this planet.

A man struck by a car on his motorcycle,

a mother hits her daughter

heading down the station steps.

I pray to the deities of the South

and to my maternal origin

and to God within all things.

I think of the man from Kashmir with the most exquisite eyes.

Will I forget the helplessness in the gaze of that hungry woman

when the rain was continually falling?

Or the competing shouts for coffee and sambar in a tone so deep and rare when the train begins to whistle.

There is no escaping the wounds of the world, the afflictions of our humankind.


A jungle ignites a man’s trauma from war long ago,

monkeys howl in the trees,

leeches crawl inside my shoes,

and the horizon offers union.

More than twenty types of bananas grow,

and a land of coconuts exist

by the cultivation of warm hands

and the miracle of this Earth.

I found Shiva’s moon

amidst the buses, along the backwaters,

through the chaos,

and within a land of beauty.

Recommended Articles