We Were English Medium Kids

We were English medium kids

we grew up in Lucknow, Delhi,

Calcutta, but read in schools,

old English goods who spoke of

seasons that didn’t exist — “Shall

I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

left us more than a little confused,

yes of course, if you insist, but

something inside us still refused,

have you ever lived a Delhi summer,

‘coz if you do, you won’t woo with

that line unless your love’s a bummer.

Shakti the Elephant

Between the foliage and the speckled spiders,

Between the tree trunk and the tree,

Lived a beautiful woodpecker,

And a tiny bumblebee.


The bumblebee  had a best friend. His name was Shakti.

Shakti was a baby elephant, sprightly and free.

He loved foliage, roots, leaves, shoots and the bark of the banana tree.


The woodpecker was friends with both of them

Shakti and the bee,

The elephant, the woodpecker and the bumblebee,

Made a merry group of three.

[On a bright morning, Shakti went about his day as usual. He was carrying logs, rice grains and everything else his friend Ravi had asked him to carry. In return, he received a pat on his back. He knew he would be treated to a hearty meal of bananas later.]

As Shakti approached the riverbank,

Three men began to flee

One man was in a camouflage

The same colour as the bark

Of his beloved banana tree.

Shakti caught on easily

They were after his ivory

With blunt force they cut his tendons, and then his trunk

The blood in his body emptied out, fiercely.


In that fleeting moment Shakti knew

That his dreams would remain a fantasy

He would never become the leader of his pack

That would never be his reality.


In the morning, his best friends found him

Spread eagled, near the bark of his favourite tree

But the poachers who had killed him

Could not retrieve his ivory.


Shakti plunged his teeth deep into the soil

While writhing in agony

The poachers did not get

Their coveted ivory.


Morning Delivery

Morning Delivery


Papa’s helmet’s old and black,

mama’s scarf is red and new,

baby sits between,

dressed in royal blue.


The wind is her eyes,

see those pigtails fly—

O that smile is so much brighter

than this hazy, April sky.


Hold on tight, mama!

Papa, keep your cool:

you’re delivering a princess

to some lucky Delhi school.