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The Supply

IMG-20191116-WA0010Amidst the din of the city that
Never seemed to sleep at night
There walked a silent maiden fair
One who rarely saw daylight.
‘Nightqueen’ they mocked her for she was a creature of the night.

As her tired body climbed the steps
Nearing her shabby, run-down lair
Timid, scared, her eyes did dart
On hearing footsteps.. that unnerving stare.
Touched by fingers icy cold, gasping, her throat she bared.

A night owl screeched, as if to warn
‘Now run!’ She thought, ‘its worth a try!’
“Too late!” He sneered, “Now you’re mine!”
Once more, she raised a feeble cry
Nail-sharp, his teeth claimed their supply.

A bright sun rose in a bloody pool
Nipping breezes started to pry
Through the single window that
Opened partly, peering at the sky
Nothing but his marks remained on his mangled, dead supply.




canoe on body of water
Photo by Jack Gittoes on

It’s that time of the day again…. I sit back, close my eyes, and a deluge of memories descend upon me.

Memories of you…. my ode to you.

‘Saudade ‘ a beautiful word in a foreign language… if you only look it up, you’d know….

‘Saudade’, my feelings exactly… but how to explain feeling to one who shuns ?

How to show my soul to one who laughs at that reckless passion?

What do I do… except….  walk away.

Or so I think!

‘Saudade’ haunts, and I was never any good at calculated indifference
If I could only wrench those backdated feelings out of my core..
But then… I wonder.
If I did, who would know the difference between you and me?

‘Saudade’ might make me weak but I will last
Like a rock, unwavering, steadfast…
Like spring that waits for winter to retreat
Like the voice in your head, deafening but discreet.

And that voice speaks to you, if only you’d hear
For its that one call you eternally run from
Yet I see it crystal clear, like the light of day
That I am the shield to your every fear.

I will be repose when your tired soul aches
The light in me will shine so bright
Dispelling the darkness in both our beings
Give me ‘you’; and the world would seem just right

And if some day, say, ‘Saudade’ beckons you
I will still be where you left me.. still fierce, still true….

The Light Shines through



The lotus stands alone, forlorn, in the dark waters of the lake
The black night around her, densely packed
With the chirping of critters, adding to the eeriness of the place.
But does the lotus care? She is pre-occupied, staring steadfastly at the dazzling moon
She strives to reach that silvery orb, she hopes, sighs and hopes again.


For she knows that the moon cares not for her existence
Yet, she adores his light, it soothes the restlessness in her soul
When his beams cast their magic on her quivering petals
She starts to shimmer, feeling his touch all over her being
She dances with delight, gently swaying in the playful breeze
Her grateful heart whispering a serenade as she worships her unattainable..


I ask the lotus, “Are you not a fool? Why waste your youth on the faraway moon…
That neither cares for the purity of your ardour, nor for the virtues that commit you to him?


Amused by my ignorant probes, she softly laughs and answers
“I adore the light that brightens my soul, I bow before that, it makes me who I am..
My beauty, my virtues, my passionate love
Soar toward him, as a silent prayer
He listens, he knows, he understands
And though the moon seems oblivious to you,
He answers my call when his light shines through.


The Message…

‘Reached safely and off to bed,’ his message said.
She read it again, those few words, again and again
She smiled, delighted, and once more she read,
‘Off to bed now,’ the message said.

Closing her eyes, she could see
A solitary figure, fatigued and in great need of rest,
Unlock the front door and plop wearily on the couch
Now his shoes come off and he tucks them neatly away
Taking off of his travel attire, he heaves a sigh
He just wants a pillow to rest his head
But gently smiles, for there’s more to do yet
And picking up his phone, he types instead
‘Reached safely and now off to bed.’

He knew he needn’t, he knew she would know,
He badly needed sleep, it was already very late
But he wanted to assure her, he wanted to show
That he cared so much and sleep could wait.
‘ Goodnight my love, I miss you so,’ he wrote,
He laughed at his exuberance and shook his head,                                                                       For a moment he thought, then those words he erased
‘Reached safely and sleep well’ was all he said.

His words hugged her in a soft embrace
Her eyes welled up, they were miles apart
And as she changed, she stared at the screen
Then sank in her bed, all satin and lace
‘Reached safely, off to bed’ she read, as she pictured
His lips forming those words, only for her
Hugging his words passionately to her chest
She closed her eyes, trying to rest.

Two people asleep in countries far
So distant, yet so very near
Bound by the magic in their hearts
That would not allow them to part.
One is ‘home’ and the other seeks
One is ‘need’ and the other gives
Who is which, they do not care
For an unusual bond they gratefully share.

For she lay peacefully now, in her bed
Lulled to sleep by mere words she had read
How had he known that she had quietly
Why else ‘Reached safely,’ had he said?


Have you ever paused to watch
Twilight that plays among the clouds?
Ever marvelled at what treasures lay
In Nature’s lap; its sights and sounds?

Ever wondered how the colours spread
Before the pall of darkness falls?
And how it calms your dejected soul
When it answers the creator’s whispering call?

The rush of day is almost done
And weary feet drag down the lane
On a whim, the eyes look up
And your weary heart forgets its pain.

For there’s magic in the view around
Such magic that is true and pure
The creator’s hand that holds the brush
Has strokes that can all ailments cure.

So if you ever glance up and see
Pinkish hues smeared across the sky
Believe its Him and His hand up there
You’ll feel His love in you if you try.

Your eyes may well with sudden tears
That threaten to spill down your chest
Let them flow for He forged you strong
He knows you will pass His every test.

RETREAT by Tania Dutta

City lights and posh places were never her choice,
So he took her to his ancestral home for a change.
Her eyes brightened up as she walked past the gate,
Staring in wonder at the grand view ahead.

It was an old old place that some had called their home,
She could hear murmers of them as she touched the stones.
He lead her with pride and anticipation,
Wondering what she was feeling as she strode along-

He could sense a secret excitement in her,
As he lead her up the wooden stairs.
She gazed at everything as she glided along the passage,
Loving the musty smell of the days long gone-
The candle in his hand made everything come to life,
And finally, he stopped at one particular door..

This was his grandmother’s chamber
He said to her,
Then he let her in and opened the window.
She said nothing ,but was overwhelmed,
She turned around and then made a strange request.
“Why don’t you go down and walk up the path?
And allow me to stand by the window and wait for you?”

This was what his grandmother would do
He had mentioned it to her before…
He smiled in confusion and met her gaze-
He loved to see the ruddy glow of her face.
He turned back once and saw her stand,
And made his way downstairs
As if obeying her command.

Meanwhile she glanced at her reflection ,
And covered her head with her dupatta
Smiling shyly ,as if she was a new bride.
Then pretending to chew a betel leaf ,
She went back to the window
And waited for him.
He was feeling as if something had come over him,
As he reached the iron gates and started to walk in.
It was as if he had done this many times before,

Walking down this path on such warm nights.
Just as he reached the steps to mount
Instinctively he looked up
At the window where she stood.
They glowed with pride and happiness
Having met each other’s gaze.
Her heart rejoiced and he understood
What a moment they were reliving
As his ancestors had done before.
Everything is predestined

He now understood –
Why she never liked the city
And loved it as they stood
Under the roof of what had once been their own..

Of Play doh and Dragon Poop..

“Can you play with me, mamma? Or you won’t?”

These were my soon-to-be six daughter’s words this morning as I looked up from the phone and decided to give her another sermon.. on how her mamma needs time for herself too… and how, as a ‘big girl’ she should learn to play by herself. I was ready to do just that.

Then I noticed the sadness in her eyes and the unmistakable heaviness in her voice. She had said it with a tone of finality, as if she already knew what my answer would be… and why not? She had heard that same retort so many times before.

My heart broke.

Putting the phone down on the floor next to me, I smiled at her. “What are we playing then?”

The smile on her face could have dimmed a hundred neon lights. It was beyond dazzling. The light was back in her eyes and her words danced with eager anticipation.

“Let’s make ghost cookies… like last week!”

I sat down on the floor opposite her and looked on in admiration as she brought out her multi-coloured play-doh, some soft, some rock-hard and waiting to be discarded, some in mysterious shades of purple, a result of her relentless experimentation, I guessed.

Oh no! That sticky mess again! My grown-up brain reminded me. But I ignored it.

“EWWW! Dragon poopies!” I squealed in rehearsed excitement, picking up a blob of that sickly-purple mess.

She chuckled delightedly, mirth pouring out from her voice like the happy song of a stream gurgling down a mountainous terrain. It filled me with a joy only mothers feel, perhaps.
She plopped down and brought out her rolling pin, plastic knives and doll-house plates.

“What are we making, mamma?”

Before her mamma could answer, the child in me giggled and exclaimed, “Let’s pretend its Halloween! Let’s make a cake full of froggies!”

She joined in with her giggles, thrilled that her mom was with her, participating in the activities she held dear, taking an interest, and most of all, listening to all that she wanted to say. Her mom was there!

We spent almost two hours making a Froggie cake, some colourful snake pasta, red-headed monsters with no bodies but each with one giant yellow eye, (her version of a cyclops), dragon poop pizza and much more!

Not once, in all this time, did I look at my phone! Clueless as I was about the fact that my inner child had taken over, we imagined a world of our own where we were witches getting ready for a Halloween Party! I was happily lost in my child’s world, spurring her imagination and mine.

Interspersed with dramatic, very un-witchy cackles, we had a fine time together. We giggled and ‘ewwww’ ed a lot, but most of all, we bonded.

My heart swelled with pride when she gushed, “I love your snakes mamma! Will you teach me, too?”

I nodded solemnly, ready to pass on this age-old wisdom to my daughter😊

To all of us parents, who are in love with our cell phones, take a moment to look up at your child, at those eyes filled with wonder and that frank, curious smile. For, they really do grow up too fast.

Before we realize it, they will stop tugging at our sleeves and bursting to tell us their stories; they will stop believing in dragons, witches and fairies. One day, too soon, they will grow up and their world will change beyond recognition.

So, for now, let’s show them we care…… let’s try and just be there!