“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Friday, September 16, 2016

Looking at the Blue Sky sitting on a Terrace

Where you live, be it
By the side of the sea,
Or atop a mountain peak-
Both, though a fantasy
For most of us -

Where you live, be it
Cocooned in a cramped
Quarters or be it
a claustrophobic
One bhk -
Or like me
In an old crumbling
Dwelling about to fall apart-

Wherever be that you live
Or rot-
It would be good
To have a window
Or a space where you can
Look up
At the sky.

***** Balachandran V Trivandrum August 2016


Staring at the screen showing the folders,
Folders and folders and files and files
Piling up in the PC, in the laptop, in the netbook
And even in the external Hard Disks -
I am overwhelmed!

I grimace; how like my room, my house -
Why, even like my entire life -
Piling up junk, valuables irretrievably lost
in the mountains of files and drawers  and memories -

How frighteningly similar, for the hard disks to crash -
The house to crumble - and life to end -
And everything to come to naught!

*************   Balachandran V, 15.09.2016. Trivandrum

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Homo sapiens hirsutus

Happening to glance at my left forearm the other day,
Dark brown skinned and hairy
I notice that more hair have turned white. 
Someday, if I live long enough,
My left forearm would turn all white
The darkness of my brown skin,
but not of my mind, hidden, hopefully.

Looking at the tuft, the bushy growth of hair
On my chest ( ah, not on my head!), again white ( why grey?)
I wistfully remember how, dark, how black it once were.

I hardly need a mirror these days, having not much
On the head to comb and pat them down.

I cling on (and at times nips at)
The vestige of my manhood, my moustache
Bristling, drooping bicycle handlebars,
The beard I dare not grow
For fear of incurring my partner’s wrath.

I remember -
Hair, growing, dark,
In dark and exciting places
Darkening shadows
Of the emerging adulthood.

Shadows lean, now.
They grow oblong, as the Sun approaches dusk.
One day, my precious hair,
Would be the first to catch fire…

************** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 07-09-2016
Image: courtesy Internet. Sketch by Salvatore Bruno.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fish out of Water

In this heat, I sweat profuse.
I splash water at my armpits
The nape of my neck
And shameless,  over my genitals.
On the bed, in the nude
I fart and sigh, happy.
The dogs lie legs up in the air,
Too tired to smell the wind.

I choke at the chilled lemonade
Gurgling down my throat.
Out in the portico, a crow
Dips its beak and then jumps
Into the clay pan, splashing in the water.

I wish I were a fish,
Swishing my tail, chilling
With the mermaids.
But then, the fish are dying
And the birds and bees too.
Soon, we too would, for sure.

****** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 29.04.2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

“I can feel it coming in the air…”

It is in the air, the smell
Of rotting garbage,
Of burnt corpses hanging out from the bogies.
Of vomit and urine
From Kanniyah’s innards.
The stain of chewed betel
Or is it blood splattered
On the walls of democracy? 

It is in the air, the smell
Of fear.

Come out, come out of the cubicles
The partitions and the corridors
From behind the tinted glasses
Out to the open fields
Where we can hold our heads
High, without fear and breathe
The air of freedom.

************* Balachandran V. 25.02.2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


“Let’s, let’s do it, uh”, asked Adam.
Pouting her lips,
Offering the cleavage, 
Eve, fluttering her eyelids, asked – “do what?”
“Let’s light up the forest”, said he
Looking up at the green hills,
“What fun would it be! This
Breeze would spread it far and wide”.
Widening her legs, inviting him, she said-
“Oh yeah, let’s, let’s have a firefuck!”
“Birds would rise, panicking from their roosts
Nests toast to a nice crisp.”
Drawing her close, he slapped hard;
Her rump burned; she moaned.
“Monkeys will fly, through the sky
The tufts on their tails, dancing balls of fire!”
Flies and flying ash looked alike.
Butterflies flew like flakes of corn.
Flames licked and ate the trees
As their hearts cracked and split.
Grass spread a carpet in red
For the firefuckers, to fuck to death.
A light in green smouldered and glowed,
In the mother-wolf's eyes, as she died.
************** Balachandran V. Nagercoil.02.02.2016
View from my residence. Forest fire, Nagercoil. 02.02.2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

To My Wannabe Friends in Facebook.

I am flattered, no doubt
And pleased to some extent
That you request me to be your friend.
But pray, why?
Struck by my looks, I guess not.
Impressed by my words, I'd like to think so.
Seen a kindred soul, well, that's nice.
Enamoured by my images, hmm, well, maybe
Or not.
Then, tell me why.
I am not hot and sexy
Neither rich nor famous
Not a chance that I will win
The Nobel prize.
Be my friend, but tell me at least once
Why I should clutter your page
And vice versa.
My heart is not a door-less bus
That stops at every wave of a hand.
Not a passenger train
That you can enter ticket-less.
I am not a leaky tap
By the side of a street
Where you may quench your thirst;
Drink from me, but close the tap,
Let not my blood drip away.
I am not the Banyan tree
By the side of a blistering road
Where you may rest awhile and leave
Leaving your wastes strewn over my lap.
Friendship, oh my wannabe friend,
Is not a casual thing
I am not a hooker that
you can hump and leave.
Be my friend, but tell me
Beforehand why
So that I may know you
So that I can love you
So that we may cherish
Each other.
An offer of friendship
Is not a frivolous act.
To be a part of me
Of my life, of my thoughts
Is to enter
The sanctum sanctorum
Of my being.
Do not trample upon my heart.
****************** Balachandran V. Nagercoil. 13.01.2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Songs that Live with You

One of the songs that have stayed with me all my life is this: Kelungal tharappedum. It is a Tamil Christian gospel song. I think I heard it the first time when I was ten or eleven. Nearly 50 years! A long time for a song to have been in the background of my life. I am not religious; Hindu or Christian or anything, but the voice of the singer, that appeal to greater powers, man's helplessness and his hopes that his life will be redeemed by the Lord - it haunts me. The immensity of our insignificance resonates in the song. Whatever ill may befall us, faith in an external power power us to survive...
One Sunday, as I placidly cycled along the vast green landscape of Nagercoil, the strains of this song came wafting along in the morning breeze. It followed me, in rhythm with my breath, in rhythm with each cycle of the pedals. I look at the birds, the dragonflies, the lone men working in the paddy fields. I look at the blue blue sky, the rock outcrop of the last of the hills gradually sinking into the sea...
I hum the chorus of the song, the only lines I know from boyhood.. 'Kelungal tharappedum, thattungal thirakkapedum, thedungal kidakkumentraaar, Jesu thedungal kidakkumentrar...' "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." I do no know any other song as powerful and simple as this that can give hope to mankind. Though I will be singing the song to myself, for I have faith only in the powers of Nature...

Celebrating Time

Quoting Einstein, a friend throws a damp towel:
"The dividing line between past, present, and future
Is an illusion". So, she asks: What New Year???
Another philosophizes: It is just another sunset,
Another night and just one more sunrise, what’s new, he asks.
As 12 o’clock midnight approach, I sit all alone.
Not even a drink beside me, no music, no friends
No joy and revelry.
As 12 o’clock midnight approach,
I cock an ear for the sounds of fireworks
The screams of motorbikes, the shouts of greetings
The wail of the siren.
My dog, sound asleep at my feet.
As 12 o’clock midnight approach,
I lean back on the chair and
Remember yesteryears, the New Years gone by
Streaking, drunk, on the highways
Weathering a storm, snowed under
High on the grasslands, in utter silence
High on Grass, listening to Kishori
Slumped, head sunk deep into the chest
Drunk, absolutely soused.
Bidding goodbye forever to a friend,
Together looking out at the sea.
Mr. Einstein, you may be right, but
Tell me, what isn’t an illusion?
Hiroshima and Nagasaki maybe?
My friend, to celebrate time
Is to celebrate the passage of life.
We are butchers, chopping Time
Years, months, weeks and days
Down to seconds and nanoseconds;
Popping morsels into our mouths
Fully aware, afraid, that –
We swing our blades down on nothingness…

**************** Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 01.01.2016